Much scheming has been going on to get the Senate version of the health care bill passed in the House. Two of the biggest schemes for passing the bill have been dealt a severe blow by the Senate Parliamentarian.
From Roll Call: The Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that President Barack Obama must sign Congress’ original health care reform bill before the Senate can act on a companion reconciliation package, senior GOP sources said Thursday.
The Senate Parliamentarian’s Office was responding to questions posed by the Republican leadership. The answers were provided verbally, sources said.
House Democratic leaders have been searching for a way to ensure that any move they make to approve the Senate-passed $871 billion health care reform bill is followed by Senate action on a reconciliation package of adjustments to the original bill. One idea is to have the House and Senate act on reconciliation prior to House action on the Senate’s original health care bill.
Information Republicans say they have received from the Senate Parliamentarian’s Office eliminates that option. House Democratic leaders last week began looking at crafting a legislative rule that would allow the House to approve the Senate health care bill, but not forward it to Obama for his signature until the Senate clears the reconciliation package.[MORE]
So the Democrats can say goodbye to the Slaughter Solution and bye-bye to reconciliation fixes prior to passing the Senate bill in the House.
This should be a major eye opener for any naive House Democrats who think that the Senate version will be fixed after it passes the House. Once the bill is passed it must be signed into law and all guarantees to fix the bill will be worth less than diddly-squat.
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Via: Roll Call