The talk in Washington is that Senate Democrats are preparing to push through health care reforms using parliamentary procedures that will allow a simple majority to prevail in their chamber, as it does in the House, instead of the 60 votes needed to overcome the filibuster that Senate Republicans are sure to mount.
With the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, the Democrats do not have the votes just among their 57 members (and the two independents) to break a filibuster, and not all of these can be counted on to vote in lock step. If the Democrats want to enact health care reform this year, they appear to have little choice but to adopt a high-risk, go-it-alone, majority-rules strategy.
We say this with considerable regret because a bipartisan compromise would be the surest way to achieve comprehensive reforms with broad public support. But the ideological split between the parties is too wide — and the animosities too deep — for that to be possible.
In recent weeks, it has become inescapably clear that Republicans are unlikely to vote for substantial reform this year. Many seem bent on scuttling President Obama’s signature domestic issue no matter the cost. As Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, so infamously put it: “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” NYT
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Democrats Near Going it Alone on Health Reform?
The math is in, according to a NYT editorial. Republicans don't want reform and democrats may have to use the reconciliation tactic. Not ideal. If the democrats go it alone, I just hope they come up with a marvelously wonderous fantastic bill. I still hold out hope that republicans open up a but so there can be some sort of compromise. But what are the chances, especially when, more than anything, republicans just want Obama to fail: