Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Clyburn: House Dems Will Pass Senate Bill If Fix Is Guaranteed; Urges Obama To Push Dems Harder"

Greg Sargent:
An influential House Democrat is now predicting that House Dems will pass the Senate health bill if they are persuaded they have a guarantee that it will be fixed in reconciliation — a declaration that could give a boost of momentum for the prospects of getting reform done via this route.

In an interview with me, House majority whip James Clyburn also urged the President to throw his weight behind this approach during tomorrow’s State of the Union Address, declaring that it would be “helpful.”

The comments from Clyburn — who’s been canvassing opinion from members in recent days — could contribute to a growing sense that this is course of action most likely to succeed, and could give ammo to to those pressing this case.

“I feel certain that the House Democrats will pass health care reform if the fixes that we feel need to be made to the Senate bill are guaranteed,” Clyburn said. Asked directly if the House votes would be there if this happened, Clyburn said: “Yes, sir.”

Clyburn’s comments suggest that if Dem leaders figure out a way of demonstrating to House Democrats that the reconciliation fix is iron-clad, they could support the Senate bill in large enough numbers to pass.

Clyburn cautioned, however, that House Dems would have to be convinced of the veracity of the fix, citing the “natural distrust between the two bodies.” He added that House Dems would want to see the fix address their opposition to the “Cadillac” tax, to state-based exchanges, and to various sweetheart deals for Senators.

Clyburn called on the President to use his clout and prestige to urge Congressional Dems to follow this course of action during tomorrow’s speech.

“I think that would be helpful,” Clyburn said. “I would like for him to say that we ought to do the fixes…and pass the rest of the Senate bill. I think it would be good for him to let everybody know.”

Howie P.S.: Another post from Sargent: "Failing To Change The Way People Think."

No comments: