While it might be a “fact” that the House could pass the Senate bill unchanged, it is also a “fact” that the Senate could quickly pass the House bill unchanged. Maybe the reason the Senate is so dysfunctional is that major news organizations like the New York Times seem to ignore the simple facts about what the Senate can actually do, and, instead, lets senators get away with pretending there are no ways around their own made-up rules. The 60-vote threshold is not part of the Constitution, nor is it carved in stone. It can be changed. It should be changed.
|By: Jon Walker Friday February 26, 2010 4:33 pm|
|By: David Dayen Tuesday January 5, 2010 11:55 am|
Democrats are foregoing a conference committee for two reasons – to quicken the process on the front end (Republicans would have been able to delay the management of a formal conference committee for a few weeks) and to allow for flexibility between the proposals between the House and Senate, with the possibility of adding new compromise items. Many progressives are concerned that a back-room negotiation will cut them out of any dealmaking. The proper answer to that is for them to make it publicly known that they won’t vote for a bill without certain items. With such a narrow margin for error, this would have the effect of opening up the negotiations and forcing them to be carried out in public. So, it’s not like progressives in Congress don’t have options.
|By: Jon Walker Tuesday January 5, 2010 8:15 am|
This document, prepared by the House Tri-Committee staff, outlines the topline differences between the House and Senate bills that need to be resolved. In almost every case where the two bills differ, it is because the Senate bill is dramatically worse.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday December 29, 2009 12:50 pm|
Paul Waldman’s piece about the differences to be worked out in the House-Senate conference committee on health care is a pretty nice recitation of the issues we’ve been discussing for several weeks. He offers ten specific issues. . .