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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Neb.) Will Not Support Reconciliation Package

Via The Politico:

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Neb.), who supported the Senate health care bill in December, has confirmed that she will not support the package of fixes through reconciliation.

She has been threatening for weeks to oppose the measure, saying she did not favor using reconciliation to pass it. But she has also said she wanted to take a look at the bill.

"Now that the Senate bill has passed both houses and the President will be signing it into law, the Senate will consider additional changes this week that were adopted by the House tonight as Budget Reconciliation," Lincoln said in a statement released Sunday. "The Reconciliation package devised by the House includes matters unrelated to health care and employs a legislative process that wasn't subject to the same transparency and thorough debate that we used in the Senate. I cannot support this process."

One down, 8 to go and there has been no guarantee from Reid that he would have the 51 votes needed to ram the House's reconciliation package through the senate.

Others to watch are Senator Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) who is also opposed to reconciliation, Senator Maria Cantwell did not sign a letter last week to House Democrats committing to an up-or-down vote on the reconciliation bill “without delay and may offer her own amendments in the Senate battle, and Independent Joe Lieberman won't commit to keeping the bill free of amendments, saying he’d take each vote “one by one.”

Should Reid fail to pass the reconciliation bill the House has offered, then the bill Obama signed today, the Senate's version of Obamacare, will stand as law, despite the fact that liberal House members originally called the Senate version "unacceptable" and claimed they would never vote for it.

As I have mentioned previously, Pelosi played progressives and House liberals, knowing full well she could not guarantee the passage of the reconciliation package.