Nancy Pelosi has stated the obvious--there aren't the votes in the Dem caucus of the House to pass the Senate bill as is.
"I don’t see the votes for it at this time," Pelosi said. "The members have been very clear in our caucus about the fact that they didn’t like it before it had the Nebraska provision and some of the other provisions that are unpalatable to them."
"In every meeting that we have had, there would be nothing to give me any thought that that bill could pass right now the way that it is," she said. "There isn’t a market right now for proceeding with the full bill unless some big changes are made."
The House members who've been asked about it, as well as labor have all clearly stated the way forward: make the necessary fixes and then pass the Senate bill. Tricky, yes. Impossible, no. There's obviously a political will for doing that in the House.
Greg Sargent has more:
The key is that Pelosi said the bill can’t pass the House "at this time" or "right now." What’s more, this doesn’t address another possibility being studied by House leaders right now: Passing the Senate bill while simultaneously creating a mechanism that would make it possible, or even mandatory, to fix the bill later through reconciliation, meaning those fixes would only require 51 votes in the Senate.
If such a mechanism were created, it might — repeat, might — induce enough House Dems to reconsider, making it possible for them to pass the Senate bill. No one knows how feasible such a mechanism would be. But it’s being studied as we speak.
Labor says that's how to go. Many progressives have said they'll go along with that. The votes will likely be there. But, she can't give them a bill without a fix, and those fixes aren't just Ben Nelson like whims, they are substantive improvements to the bill--a national exchange, more equitable funding mechanisms, better subsidies and greater affordability, an end to the anti-trust exemption--all thinks that will strengthen the actual policy behind this bill.
It's good to see the House stand up for itself and to assert the need to fix this bill. It is more than within the realm of possibility to do this bill and to do it better if Dem leaders show the will to do so. That might mean telling Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu (who really should not be allowed to go in front of cameras) to take a flying leap--we'll pass these important reform without you. So be it. It would be good to see some of the anger and pressure where it should be focused, on the obstructionist ConservaDems.
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