Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Democrats lose Senate supermajority

Tonight's defeat in the Massachusetts senate race was a big blow to Democrats and the Obama administration. However, it does not necessarily mean the end of the health care reform bill.

The bill is some danger, but most likely some reform will still be passed. There are several options available to Democrats. For example, they House and Senate could possibly reach a super quick compromise and vote for the bill before newly-elected senator Scott Brown is seated. Usually it takes a while before the vote is certified and Democrats could presumably move during this time.

Another option is that the House will simply pass the Senate bill as it stands without any changes. They could agree to seek changes in the future through the process of reconciliation. However, some types of legislation are not allowed for reconciliation so House Dems would have to sacrifice those changes. There is some question as to whether a public option is permitted under the rule ("Byrd Rule") that guides the reconciliation process.

Still another possibility is that they could decide to start from scratch using reconciliation to push through items that qualify under the Byrd Rule. I think this is a rather remote possibility.

What will be more difficult for the Obama administration is to pass any new legislation that they have planned in the future. They could be limited in the types of changes that they want to make. However, the Republicans were able to pass tax cuts using the reconciliation process.

Tonight's defeat was also an ominous sign for the elections in November bringing up the possibility of more losses, or perhaps even losing control of the House.

Obama may need to set down with party leader Tim Kaine, and perhaps invite Howard Dean over to talk about strategy for the upcoming elections.

3 comments:

Dave said...

I just wish that both sides would see this vote as a rejection of the extreme views of both parties. Enough. Of the bickering. Of the "gotcha" statements. Of the we're going to push everything we can while we can.

You know what, when Obama was elected, the majority had in fact had enough. Health care was broken. But you know what? The solution to that isn't to bite off the whole f**king billion dollar industry in a single bill nobody has read. That is completely asinine.

But of course, the Republicans will now see this one seat as a sign they were right. They'll block everything now just because a Democrat sponsors it, and we'll get nothing. Not a compromise. NOTHING.

F**k all of them. It's like having to achieve an average temperature with one foot in ice water and another in boiling water. We just keep voting out parties for the other, hoping they'll catch on.

We may very well be doomed because they are not catching on.

ToeJamm said...

If the nasty democrats try to slide a bill through before scott brown arrives it would exemplify that the democratic agenda is more important then the voice of the people.

Tuck your tails and run you hippies! No more taxes! Screw the health care bill and screw OBAMA!

Kent said...

Yes, let's ram through a watered down health care bill a majority of Americans do not want so Pelosi and Reid can say they helped "save" us. Let's get rid of ALL the career politicians in Washington and put TERM LIMITS in place. The arrogance of the politicians in DC makes me want to throw up.

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