Thursday, March 18, 2010

Senate Republicans Have a Warning or Two for House Democrats

Senate Republicans are plotting to stop this health care fiasco  first in the House while preparing for the reconciliation vote in the Senate as well, should it come to that.  The most important vote to stop, however,  is the vote currently scheduled for Sunday:
“Our initial goal is to stop the bill in the House,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “Part of convincing House members to vote for the Senate bill is that it can be fixed by reconciliation, and I think that is a highly questionable proposition.”

It’s a pre-emptive strike meant to scare jittery House Democrats into withholding their support from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who needs 216 votes to pass the Senate bill and a companion measure that fixes unpopular elements of the bill. If she falls short, comprehensive health care reform dies.

Senate Republicans will advance their campaign Thursday with floor speeches detailing why a provision to delay the “Cadillac tax” — a must-have for House liberals in the companion bill — could fall victim to the chamber’s parliamentary rules.
Heaven knows the Democrats must do all in their power to please their union cronies.  Targeting the Cadillac tax is thus a key provision to be targeted, though there are definitely others.  There are other ways to telegraph to nervous Dems, who have made it clear they want to take as few painful votes as possible, they might not be done voting this Sunday.  It is rare for a reconciliation vote to make it through without amendments.  Republicans have a slew of amendments in store and should just one make it through, Democrats will need to vote again in the House.

That's not all, Senate Republicans took to the microphone to telegraph a few more warnings today as well.  Senator Tom Coburn warns vulnerable Dems considering switching their no vote from the fall to a yes, "sell your vote, and we will publish it."  Coburn draws a chuckle from his contingent when he warns that anyone in the House taking a dive for health care, their fabulous new job awaiting them as reward might just be hung up in the confirmation process.   Wouldn't that be sad?  Anyone who would sell out their constituents for a failed president on the promise of a glam job, deserves to wait at the back of the line behind all those who have lost their jobs while this administration focused on health care, health care, health care.

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