Do Dems Still Need 60 Senate Votes for Health Care?

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Here’s an article that was written in Oct 2009, but it shows that using “reconciliation” to pass health care was on their mind even almost 6 months ago and how they would deal with it.

Do Dems Still Need 60 Senate Votes for Health Care?

Now that health care reform is moving to the floor of the Senate, Democratic leaders are parsing over the details of the bill, devising ways secure 60 votes for reform — starting today, however, they do not necessarily have to.

This past summer, the Senate wrote into its budget rules that beginning Oct. 15, they could use a procedural maneuver called “reconciliation” to pass health care reform, which would allow the bill to pass with 51 votes instead of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. A committee in the House of Representatives today quietly took the precautions necessary to allow the Senate to proceed with reconciliation, if it comes to that.

Democrats insist, however, the Senate will avoid it. After Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) passed a health care bill out of his committee with the help of one Republican, he said it is clear reconciliation will be avoided, Politico reports.

Democrats want to avoid the maneuver with good reason, analysts say.

“There are policy reasons not to do it, there are political reasons not to do it,” Rick Weissenstein, a health care analyst for Concept Capital’s Washington Research Group, told the Hotsheet. Still, he said, “at some point they’re going to start running out of time.”

Using reconciliation will remain an option until Democrats can get 60 members to cooperate — and the party wants to pass a health care bill this year. Liberal advocates for reform say getting all 60 Democrats to cooperate should not be difficult, even to pass a bill with the much-debated public option, since they do not even technically need to vote for the bill — they simply need to agree to not stand in the way.

Policy-wise, the reconciliation process is simply not intended for comprehensive pieces of legislation like health care reform.

The Senate rules allow reconciliation bills to pass with a simple majority and limited debate on matters that pertain to the budget — something the Senate saw as too important to be weighed down by partisanship. Since reconciliation bills must pertain to the budget, the Senate is not allowed to use them for matters that would set policy. For this reason, some lawmakers have warned that a reconciliation health bill would have to leave out important provisions (such as consumer protections), resulting in a “Swiss cheese” bill.

If the Senate were to use reconciliation, however, it would most likely include the non-budgetary — and noncontroversial items — in one bill and write a second bill to pass under reconciliation. Congressional staff have been crafting ways they could convert the current legislation into bills that could pass through that process, Weissenstein said.

The real challenge, Weissenstein added, is political.

“I think it would be perceived, certainly by Republicans and moderates, as a last ditch effort to pass something that didn’t have popular support,” he said. “If you’ve gotten to that point, in some ways you’ve kind of lost the war.”

Some liberal reform advocates, however, see reconciliation as a path to victory over Republican obstruction.

“If we get to October 15, it’s because we’re already at an impasse,” Tim Foley wrote for the social entrepreneurship group over the summer. “More to the point, Republicans in Congress could simply have done what the Senate always does when the minority doesn’t like whatever reform is being pushed out – run out the clock… Now running out the clock has the opposite effect – it will actually increase the chances that health care reform will pass, despite their objections.”

The reconciliation process is less about overcoming Republican opposition, however, than it is about bypassing hesitant Democrats. Technically, the party only needs 60 votes for cloture — to bring all debate, including filibusters, to an end. At that point, only 51 votes are needed to actually pass the legislation.

Ways and Means approves reconciliation letter

October15, 2009

House Democrats are taking necessary precautions to jam a contentious health care reform bill through the Senate, should party moderates turn their backs on the legislation.

The House Ways and Means Committee agreed Thursday to send a letter to the Budget panel setting the ground rules for the reconciliation process, should Democrats need to employ a “just in case” fallback. Reconciliation allows the party in power to approve legislation with a simple majority, not the 60 votes leaders often need to initiate a vote on contentious bills.

The vote doesn’t mark a change in strategy; Democrats just needed to meet an Oct. 15 deadline included in the annual budget blueprint for the initiation of the reconciliation process. So far, only the Education and Labor Committee included reconciliation instructions in its draft of the health care bill.

Twenty-two Ways and Means Democrats agreed to send the letter, but a trio of Democrats – Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota and John Tanner of Tennessee – sided with Republicans to oppose the move because they don’t want party leaders to use this tool.


Pelosi: If Senate Can’t Get 60 Votes, We’ll Go to ‘Simple Majority’ to Pass Health Care Bill


Well as I said, these liberals are hell bent on putting universal Health Care into law. Who cares what the public wants…..they think they know better what we need than we do.

Pelosi: If Senate Can’t Get 60 Votes, We’ll Go to ‘Simple Majority’ to Pass Health Care Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters that the Democrats will use “reconciliation” in the Senate if they cannot find the 60 votes to prevent a Republican filibuster to pass health care legislation. Under reconciliation, the Democrats would need only 51 votes in the Senate to pass the bill. (Never mind what Kent Conrad the Democratic Chairman of the Budget Committee said, “reconciliation on the entire Health Care Bill won’t work.”)

“What we’ll do is hope he (Reid) can still find 60 votes, but if not, we’ll have to go to the simple majority, and that simple majority confines the issues that we can address,” Pelosi said during a news conference in the speaker’s balcony hallway on Tuesday.

“I’ll tell you where we are,” she said. “We are right now freezing the language on the legislation (Obama’s revisions merged with Senate bill)(means the Senate will have to vote on this again and then go to the House for a vote); once we have that, and a report back from the CBO (Congressional Budget Office). So, it’s about the substance. (Ha ha…Pelosi wouldn’t know substance if it hit her in the face.)

“Secondly, we’ll see what the Senate can do in this regard and then we will take that substance and that to our members, but our members want quality, affordable health care for all Americans,(what about what the US citizens want Nancy ?) and I feel very confident that we will accomplish that,” Pelosi said.

The Democrats hold 57 seats in the Senate. The two Independents, Bernard Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut caucus with the Democrats, and both men voted in favor of the Senate bill on Dec. 24, 2009.

The Republicans hold 41 seats in the Senate – Scott Brown, a Republican, now occupies the seat formerly held by Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, the so-called “Liberal Lion.”

In March 2009, many Democratic leaders including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said reconciliation was a last resort.

“Reconciliation on health care is a fallback position,” said Hoyer. “It is not the preferred option. The preferred option is creating a bipartisan consensus.”

However, this past September, Hoyer changed his view.

“The fact of the matter is that there is a reconciliation process, and the reconciliation process does provide for a majority of the United States Senate to pass the health care bill,” Hoyer told a town hall meeting in Waldorf, Md.

“It so happens, as you know, the majority of the Senate are Democrats,” said Hoyer. “So, under the rules of the United States Senate they can pass legislation with a majority. That’s not ramming something through with a majority. It is doing what democracy calls for.”

Read entire article at

Is Obama Now Selling Judgeships for Health Care Votes?

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Well nothing surprises me at all, this man is desperate to get this health care bill passed.  It is also rumored that Rep. Joe Sestak was offered  a tax-funded job not to run against Sen. Arlen Specter. So it appears Obama, Pelosi and Reid are up to the same tricks as the back room deals to pass Obamacare weeks ago, i.e. Cornhusker deal with Sen Nelson of Nebraska, the Louisiana Purchase II with Mary Landrieu, etc. Now is it with judge ships?

Obama Now Selling Judgeships for Health Care Votes?

Obama names brother of undecided House Dem to Appeals Court.

Tonight, Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he’s obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson’s brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

“Scott Matheson is a distinguished candidate for the Tenth Circuit court,” President Obama said.  “Both his legal and academic credentials are impressive and his commitment to judicial integrity is unwavering.  I am honored to nominate this lifelong Utahn to the federal bench.”

Scott M. Matheson, Jr.: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (This man is quaified, but is it bad timing? It appears to be)

Consider Congressman Matheson’s record on the health care bill. He voted against the bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee back in July and again when it passed the House in November. But now he’s “undecided” on ramming the bill through Congress. “The Congressman is looking for development of bipartisan consensus,” Matheson’s press secretary Alyson Heyrend wrote to THE WEEKLY STANDARD on February 22. “It’s too early to know if that will occur.” Asked if one could infer that if no Republican votes in favor of the bill (i.e. if a bipartisan consensus is not reached) then Rep. Matheson would vote no, Heyrend replied: “I would not infer anything.  I’d wait to see what develops, starting with the health care summit on Thursday.”

The timing of this nomination looks suspicious, especially in light Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak’s claim that he was offered a federal job not to run against Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania primary. Many speculated that Sestak, a former admiral, was offered the Secretary of the Navy job.

神腦、聯強…升級很花時間!直營的升韌體只需要你一個吃西堤時間,就可以去拿了!當然修手機沒叫你去台北修,真要修還是要找神腦、聯強修!如果你手機是聯強代理的話,就恭喜你了!因為羅東有維修的直營門市,神腦就看送中華電信快還是…那裡買的了!我修是不會在買的地方修,我都直接去代理的門市~(因為裡頭有黑幕= =”)