ABC News reporter Jack Tapper reports that Obama will call for reconciliation to be used to pass part of the health care bill tomorrow if he is not given an up or down vote in the house.
White House officials tell ABC News that in his remarks tomorrow President Obama will indicate a willingness to work with Republicans on some issue to get a health care reform bill passed but will say that if it is necessary, Democrats will use the controversial reconciliation rules requiring only 51 Senate votes to pass the “fix” to the Senate bill.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been awaiting the president’s remarks direction on how health care reform will proceed.I love this next part which includes text on why ramming the bill through is perfectly acceptable while simultaneously suggesting an open hand policy to Republicans on the other side of the aisle.
He will argue these rules are perfectly appropriate because the procedure is not being used for the whole bill, just for some fixes; because reconciliation rules are traditionally used for deficit reduction and health care reform will reduce the deficit; and because the reconciliation process has been used many times by Republicans for larger legislation such as the tax cuts pushed by President George W. Bush.
The president will also extend a hand to work with Republicans on measures they have pushed, including $50 million for state grants for demonstration projects to explore alternatives to medical malpractice cases, and a crackdown on Medicaid and Medicare fraud as proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.People are already talking about vowing to repeal any bill passed (unlikely) as well as lawsuits questioning the constitutionality of the bill (much more likely).
Tomorrow should be an interesting day–and the fallout afterwards even more interesting.