House Liberals To Pelosi: “We Cannot Support The Senate Bill. Period.”

Greg Sargent/The Plum Line

Greg Sargent posted this on his blog, The Plum Line:

In a private meeting in the Capitol just now, a dozen or more House liberals bluntly told Nancy Pelosi
that there was no chance that they would vote to pass the Senate bill
in its current form — making it all but certain that House Dems won’t
opt for this approach, a top House liberal tells me.

“We cannot support the Senate bill — period,” is the message that liberals delivered to the Speaker, Dem Rep Raul Grijalva told me in an interview just now.

had hoped Pelosi would push liberals to get in line behind this
approach, in hopes of expediting reform, but that didn’t appear to
happen in this meeting. Pelosi mostly listened, Grijalva said, adding:
“We didn’t get any declarative statement from her.”

The meeting,
which was polite but blunt in tone, underscores the degree to which
Dems are scrambling to figure out a way forward on health care in the
wake of last night’s loss. The unwillingness of liberals, and some in
labor, to support passing the Senate bill means House Dem leaders need
to find another way forward — fast — and leadership aides are scouring
procedural rules as we speak.


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Tellingly, House liberals also
urged Pelosi to consider passing individual pieces of reform through
the House as individual bills, and sending them to the Senate to
challenge the upper chamber to reject them, Grijalva tells me. Liberals
said this approach would be preferable to passing the Senate bill.

instance, Grijalva said, why not send the Senate individual bills that
would, among other things, nix the “Cadillac” tax or close the donut
hole, pressuring the Senate to deal with each provision separately?

the Senate chooses not to close the donut hole, that’s their damn
problem,” Grijalva said. “They’ve had it too easy. One vote controls
everything. Collectively, we’re tired of that.”


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