Thursday, August 27, 2009

Harry Reid and The Senate

Healthcare reform is dragging on. It seems a long time ago that they were trying to get a bill before August. Now it's maybe before Christmas.

But it sounds like Harry Reid is still putting the threat of reconciliation out there:

Discussing health care, Reid told the crowd of several hundred that he would prefer bipartisan legislation on health care reform rather than a bill with only Democratic support. Reid said he planned to "work for a couple of weeks" at giving bipartisan efforts a chance when Congress reconvenes in early September. If Democrats' olive branches fail with Republicans, though, then Senate Democrats will go ahead with a reconciliation process that requires just 51 votes rather than a filibuster-proof 60 votes, Reid said. The move would allow Democrats to pass a bill without any Republican votes.
I would guess about the middle of September, the Republicans will ask for "an extension," will propose a "back to the drawing board" kind of thing with "pledges of bipartisanship." Reid will accept this as a good faith gesture. The actual goal of getting anything done will be extended virtually indefinitely, till after the first of the year, then perhaps March, or July at the latest. By then Reid will finally notice the Republicans' scheme. Of course they will have been undermining the efforts continuously throughout this whole time, obvious to all but Harry.

Then when August of 2010 rolls around, we'll be in the full swing of the midterm election and it will be too late. Then the Republicans will suggest we wait till January when the new senators and representatives are seated. And you get the idea ...

Does the Senate ever get anything accomplished? I suppose I could look it up. But have they done anything in the last two months besides vote on Sonia Sotomayor?

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