Some warning signs form the New York Times:
Senior Congressional aides said that lawmakers and the White House were increasingly focused on a plan by which the House would adopt the health care bill approved by the Senate on Dec. 24, with any changes made in a separate bill using the budget reconciliation maneuver.Obama needs the speech of his life on Wednesday, and Nancy is going to have a very tough job... the toughest of her career... I hope they can pull it off...
But Democratic leaders are no longer confident that rank-and-file House Democrats would be willing to go along. The victory by the Republican, Scott Brown, in Massachusetts last Tuesday not only denied Democrats their 60th vote, but raised a specter of fear for Democrats over the midterm elections.
Some Democrats said that regaining the support of the caucus could depend heavily on what Mr. Obama says in his State of the Union speech on Wednesday.
On the flip, some hopeful signs:
One hopeful sign comes from David Plouffe in an OFA email:
We’ve hit some serious bumps in the road recently in our march toward change. We always knew it would be difficult, but this past week has definitely been a hard one, for all of us.And this from The Plum Line:
But this movement didn’t come so far without making it through some challenging times. It’s at moments like these when we need you most. People are hurting. Our country is at a crossroads, and in communities like yours all across America we must all fight for the progress our families and businesses need to thrive.
The President’s resolve has never been stronger to keep fighting for health insurance reform, for lasting job creation, and to rein in the big banks and fight the undue influence of lobbyists. Wednesday’s speech will be a pivotal moment for us all to get on the same page and continue the fight together.
Senior aides on both sides tell me that despite Nancy Pelosi’s claim that she doesn’t have the votes to pass the Senate health bill in the House, the Dem leadership still thinks it’s possible to win over enough House members to do it — if they’re convinced that fixing it through reconciliation is procedurally realistic.Also, apparently, this memo by Washington Monthly's Steve Benen has supposedly taken root (according to Balloon Juice) in congressional desks and is spreading rapidly:
This gets at an aspect of this whole discussion that’s been lost in the noise. Specifically, there’s good reason for many House Dems to say right now that they can’t vote for the Senate bill, even if it includes a “reconciliation fix”: The leadership has not persuasively made the case — yet — that such a fix can actually work.
Elected leaders rarely get an opportunity to make a difference on such a grand scale. Indeed, in many ways, Democrats aren’t just considering a solution to a chronic national problem, they’re facing a test of their character. Democrats can either deliver or break their promise. They can either prove their ability to govern or appear inept. They can either satisfy the expectations of those who elected them or demoralize those who are counting on them. They can either watch the media cover their once-in-a-generation breakthrough or watch the media scrutinize a debacle for the ages.So, let's hope there is still good news in the future... CALL CALL CALL your congresscritter today! In a few days, ti may be too late! Politico says that the negotiations are nearly finished for a sidecar bill.
Democrats, in other words, can either succeed or fail.
Looking back, the effort to reach this open door began last spring, but those with an eye for history know that America was actually carried to this point by giants with names like Roosevelt, Truman, Dingell, and Kennedy. With this once-in-a-generation opportunity, this Congress and this president can honor their legacy, and at long last, finish the task they began.
With a little courage and compassion, this generation of leaders can make comprehensive health care reform a reality, proving to the nation that they are worthy of the public’s trust. House approval of the Senate bill — with additional improvements to be made through reconciliation — is the most efficient and effective way to deliver on the promise.
It simply requires one more step through an open door.