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Gingersnap
01-22-2010, 10:35 AM
Thursday, January 21, 2010

Paul Ryan on Reconciliation

[Robert Costa]

Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, tells National Review Online that House Democrats are planning to use the budget-reconciliation process in order to pass Obamacare. “They’re meeting with each other this weekend to pursue it,” says Ryan. “I’ve spoken with many Democrats and the message is this: They’re not ready to give up. They’ve waited their entire adult lives for this moment, and they aren’t ready to let 100,000 pesky votes in Massachusetts get in the way of fulfilling their destiny. They’ll look at every option and spend the next four or five days figuring it out.”

If the Democrats pass a health-care bill through reconciliation, it means they would need only 51 votes in the Senate for final passage. To start the process, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) would need to bring a new health-care bill to the House Budget Committee with reconciliation instructions, with the Senate doing the same. “They’d have to go back to the beginning of the process,” says Ryan. “They’d need to affix reconciliation instructions to a new bill.” Doing so, he says, wouldn’t be too hard. “There’s nothing we can do to stop this from a technical standpoint, since all they need is a simple majority vote and our ratio on the committee is terrible. What [Republicans] can do on the Budget Committee is pass resolutions for the Rules Committee to insist on certain changes in the bill and create a ‘vote-a-rama’ atmosphere.”

If reconciliation happens, Ryan predicts that the Democrats will still have a hard time pulling it off. “There are Blue Dog Democrats out there who are more survivalist than ideologues. One or two switches could be a game changer. The question is whether Democrats will continue to follow Pelosi off the cliff. After Massachusetts, the Democrats are quickly realizing that even if the president comes in to stump, and you get all the union support you need, it’s still not enough to get you elected.”

National Review (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YTIxZmJiOGUwMTViYjYxODVjOGYzNGUxOTkzNDcyYWU=)