THE TREATMENT JANUARY 27, 2010
It looks like the House is coming around on health care reform. In a major development Tuesday, key Democratic leaders indicated their support for passing the Senate reform bill, as long as the Senate agrees to accommodate some of the House's concerns by addressing them through the budget reconciliation process.
TPM's Brian Beutler has the statements, starting with one from Majority Whip James Clyburn:
I thought we could get the votes in the House to pass the [Senate] bill if fixes to the Senate bill can be done.
From Jan Schakowsky, leader of the House progressives' health care task force:
That would be a good option as far as I'm concerned. I could support it. Reconciliation. Majority rule.
And, finally, from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman:
I think reconciliation's an appropriate way to proceed on reconciling the budget requirements. It's available to us. That was very specifically handled that way when we passed the budget.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi--who, by the way, has been nothing short of heroic over the past week--made clear that she still doesn't have the 218 votes she needs to pass the Senate bill. And she won't, presumably, until her caucus is comfortable that the Senate will make changes via reconciliation. That's almost surely one reason Clyburn and the rest made these statements: To shift some pressure over to the Senate.
But that's ok: The Senate deserves some pressure. And, more broadly, this sort of give-and-take is a sign that the process is moving forward, not withstanding the dire headlines.