In a private meeting in the Capitol just now, a dozen or more House liberals bluntly told Nancy Pelosi that there was no chance that they would vote to pass the Senate bill in its current form — making it all but certain that House Dems won’t opt for this approach, a top House liberal tells me.
“We cannot support the Senate bill — period,” is the message that liberals delivered to the Speaker, Dem Rep Raul Grijalva told me in an interview just now.
Well played Nancy.... well played.
The vote hasn't happened and despite contradicting reports as to whether Nancy Pelosi has or hasn't gotten the votes she needs to pass the Senate's version of health care aka Obamacare, looking at all the headlines and the latest reports as they come out fast and furiously, after stepping back for a moment and taking it all in, I have come to the conclusion that Nancy Pelosi has played House liberals they have been had.... in a big way.
For the record, I am not a fan of Pelosi's, nor am I a proponent of Obamacare, I seriously believe many things in the bill are unconstitutional and bad for America.
With that said.... let me take you through my thinking process here.
Pelosi's House of Representatives passed a very liberal version of Obamacare, sent it to the Senate, who said it wasn't acceptable, where it took months of work to for them to cut out many provisions and find some middle ground that could obtain the Democratic votes needed to pass their own version.
A version many House liberals claimed at the time was completely unacceptable.
Jump forward to today, after all the wheeling and dealing and months of hand wringing..... the House is prepared to vote- NON THE SENATE'S VERSION of Obamacare.
They are fighting to get the votes for it too, actively battling for each yes vote.
How did Pelosi play them so well that they are prepared to commit political suicide to pass a version of the bill they originally stated they would never...NEVER... vote for?
Bait and switch.
She offered them a chance to vote for a "fixes" bill, along with it, problem is, once the Senate's version is passed, it can be signed into law, with no guarantee that Harry Reid can produce the 51 votes needed, via reconciliation, to pass the "fixes".
She played them and the progressive blogosphere who is also joining the battle to get the Senate's version passed, after pissing and moaning previously that it was unacceptable to them as well.
Adding insult to injury, the initial schedule of votes for today was to vote for the reconciliation package before forcing liberals to vote on the Senate's Obamacare bill, but according to an update at Power Line, the Senate bill will be voted on before the reconciliation bill.
UPDATE (by Paul): I'm told that the schedule has been changed:
As of now [around 10:30 a.m.], starting around 1 PM, we will vote in this order: (1) the rule, (2) the Senate bill, (3) a Motion to Recommit the Reconciliation bill (this is the Minority's last chance to amend the recon bill), and (4) the the Reconciliation bill.
Basically, the order has been flipped from the reports yesterday and we vote on the Senate bill first. While many Democrats would like to vote for the reconciliation package before voting for the Senate bill (and all its special deals), under the Budget Act, a reconciliation bill is meant to reconcile current law -- thus the Senate bill has to pass first.
The roadblock to furthering Obama's healthcare bill, contrary to popular belief, has not been the Republicans, but the liberal politicians and the progressive blogosphere, and Pelosi managed to manipulate in such a manner that they are now pushing for a bill they originally claimed they wanted no part of because it wasn't liberal enough for them.
While I may not agree with, nor particularly like Nancy Pelosi, I have to give her kudos for being able to pee on their heads and convince them it was just raining.