The Weekly Standard’s Matthew Continetti thinks Democrats are “making one of the biggest political gambles in American history. They’re betting that overhauling one-sixth of the American economy against the public’s wishes and by a partisan vote is going to pay off in the end. They have doubled down, and are hoping the house busts.”
The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn details a Democratic memo that lays out a timeline for passing reform: “The gist is pretty simple: The House takes up the Senate bill and passed it by March 19. A few days later it passes a reconciliation bill and sends it over to the Senate, which starts the voting process on March 26.” Cohn warns that schedules “remain in flux” and the GOP has the option to offer endless amendments during a reconciliation process, even though the debate time is limited.
But The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein reports that there might be a way around endless votes: “Two experts in the arcane rules of the Senate said on Monday that, as president of the Senate, Biden has the capacity not just to overrule any ruling that the parliamentarian may make but also to cut off efforts by Republicans to offer unlimited amendments.”
Keith Hennessey lists seven challenges Democratic leaders would face by following a “two bill strategy,” including the sequence of votes (House or Senate first?) and a “voterama” where senators will have to vote up or down on proposed amendments.
Heritage’s Conn Carrol thinks a House passage is still up in the air, saying Speaker Pelsoi doesn’t currently have enough votes for reform, and “if you were watching the television yesterday it quickly became apparent that the leadership in the House has no idea how they are going to get them.”
Critical Condition’s Jim Capretta argues that Democrats can pass a smaller bill, despite talking points that stress the opposite. Capretta continues, “Still, the very existence of the Obama team’s fallback plan should embolden those Democrats who are now resisting their leadership’s pressure to take up the full Obamacare package in coming weeks and pass it.
And The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein takes a thorough look at claims from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., that the health care porposals won’t control rising health costs or reduce the deficit. Klein says, “before we dive so deep into the weeds that we’re seeing earthworms, here’s the basic conclusion: Ryan’s critique scores some clean points and also deploys a couple of dirty tricks, but it doesn’t damage the bill’s claim to reduce deficits and doesn’t even engage whether the bill controls costs.”