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The House’s Secret Plan to Pass Obamacare
* Posted January 4th, 2010 at 1.26pm in Health Care.
How does Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) plan to move Obamacare past the House, despite some highly-controversial, lingering issues? Clues are beginning to appear in the progressive blogosphere:
* Firedoglake is reporting that Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) is returning to Washington this week to begin closed-door negotiations with Senate Democrats and the White House. From FDL: “Discussions are beginning early on the health care bill, although the House is not returning to session until January 12, and the Senate not until a week later. This will not be a traditional conference committee, Waxman said, because the motions to select and instruct conferees in the Senate “would need 60 votes all over again.” Instead, whatever agreements made could be packaged in an amendment to the bills passed by the House and Senate.”
* The New Republic reports that “according to a pair of senior Capitol Hill staffers, one from each chamber, House and Senate Democrats are ‘almost certain’ to negotiate informally rather than convene a formal conference committee. Doing so would allow Democrats to avoid a series of procedural steps–not least among them, a series of special motions in the Senate, each requiring a vote with full debate–that Republicans could use to stall deliberations, just as they did in November and December.”
* TPMDC reports: “‘This process cuts out the Republicans,’ said a House Democratic aide. Republicans will ‘not have a motion to recommit opportunity’–a procedural trick the minority can use to scuttle legislation in the House at the last minute.”
These secret meetings will not be a “traditional conference committee,” nor will they be a conference committee in any sense of the term. The only individuals allowed in the room will be those invited by both the House and Senate Leadership. Why the secrecy? Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) want to be sure they can secure the votes they need to pass the bill again.
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It is time again to call McNerney's office and any other democrat congressperson. It is only our freedom that we are losing thanks to democrats.