...it looks like House Democrats won't have to vote directly on a Senate bill they really don't like. The speaker hasn't made a final decision, but she told her rank-and-file during the meeting that the plan now is to craft a rule that would "deem" the Senate bill passed once they approve the package of fixes.
That means they would vote on the rule and the so-called reconciliation package, which would make changes to the Senate bill and only requires 51 votes to pass in the Upper Chamber. In addition, the package of changes would also include a student lending bill that was paired with health care through the reconciliation process, leaders told their members on Friday.
All of this could change if the speaker faces major resistance from her rank-and-file, but it would mean Democrats won't be forced to cast a vote specifically in favor of the Senate bill, which included a series of controversial deals. During the meeting, party leaders reassured lawmakers that two of the most controversial deals -- the so-called Cornhusker Kickback and more Medicare Advantage money for Florida -- would be stripped out. But it appeared that additional Medicaid money for Louisiana and a $100 million hospital grant program requested by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) will both stay in the final bill.So the Louisiana (Re-) Purchase remains, as does a shiny new $100MM hospital for Chris Dodd's (D-Walking Dead) state of Connecticut.
Ready on the firing line! Lock and Load.