Why does it come as no surprise that the final version of health care “reform” legislation is going to be prepared by only Democrats? More specifically, in a revolting little three-way behind closed doors by that nauseatingly loathesome, unholy trinity of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.
WASHINGTON — House and Senate Democrats intend to bypass traditional procedures when they negotiate a final compromise on health care legislation, officials said Monday, a move that will exclude Republican lawmakers and reduce their ability to delay or force politically troubling votes in both houses.
The unofficial timetable calls for final passage of the measure to remake the nation’s health care system by the time President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, probably in early February.
Democratic aides said the final compromise talks would essentially be a three-way negotiation involving top Democrats in the House and Senate and the White House, a structure that gives unusual latitude to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
These officials said there are no plans to appoint a formal House-Senate conference committee, the method Congress most often uses to reconcile differing bills. Under that customary format, a committee chairman is appointed to preside, and other senior lawmakers from both parties and houses participate in typically perfunctory public meetings while the meaningful negotiations occur behind closed doors.
It’s going to be another headlong rush into unconstitutional, crushing ruin.
Bypassing a formal conference committee enables Democrats to omit time-consuming procedural steps in the Senate and prevents Republicans from trying to delay the final negotiations.
Under Senate rules, three separate votes are required before negotiators for the two houses may hold a formal meeting. While the three normally are agreed to within seconds, each may be filibustered, and Democrats would then have to produce 60 votes to cut off debate.
Additionally, Republicans would have the right to demand votes on nonbinding proposals once negotiators for the two houses were appointed. That could, in turn, require Democrats to vote on political controversies such as wiping out the legislation’s proposed cuts in Medicare, the type of issue that could easily be turned into attack ads in next fall’s campaign.
Congress plans no formal sessions until Jan. 19, but Pelosi intends to meet this week with key committee chairmen and other leaders, and a separate meeting is also planned for members of the rank and file.
There are no words to describe the disgust I feel for the Democratic party this evening. But there are two words that may put a big monkey wrench in their plans.