I, like many of my other fellow policy wonks, have been following the procedural aspects of this health care debate for quite some time now. The days following the recent 1 AM cloture vote, however, have been the most intense.
After a great deal of analysis yesterday, and some discussions with Red State’s Erick Erickson – the only person I know who follows all of this more than I do, I’ve decided that our literal last hope is to make sure Bart Stupak’s (D-Michigan) bark is as big as his bite. Now, of course, I’m not necessarily thinking that it WILL be (Ben Nelson showed us that most politicians have their price), but it’s a small ray of hope, and the area we need to focus our attention on.
Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I have libertarian sentiments, and think voting based on social issues when it comes to federal policy is a bad idea, because it’s, A: not the federal government’s business and should be dealt with on as local of a level as possible, and B: completely pales in comparison to economic issues in my humble opinion.
However, that always fun debate aside, at this point, from a procedural perspective, the abortion issue happens to be the best possible saving grace for those looking to defeat this piece of tyrannical legislation. Luckily, it’s not a futile aspect of the abortion debate either – the point at issue is whether abortion should be funded by the federal government, which, quite predictably, I happen to be very much against.
So without further adieu, here’s the situation we’re in:
The Senate will most likely pass its version of the health care bill. This will happen on Christmas Eve Day – a wonderful gift for the American people. Drink the delicious kool-aid, Citizen!
Once this happens, the left and its allies in the media will proclaim victory. Obama will give some pathetic, substantively empty speech about how this will reduce health care costs as well as the deficit, and how you’ll be able to keep your current insurance (meaning, of course, that the opposite will happen on all three counts), Nancy Pelosi will say “Christmas” again, and not in the context of trying to ban the word, and all the poor, helpless, sane Americans will think all hope is lost.
Not so fast, though.
What most people don’t understand about the legislative process is the conference committee procedure that occurs after both legislative branches pass their version of a bill. The key point is the fact that, if ONLY ONE Senator objects to holding a conference committee meeting to reconcile the two bills, the House and Senate must either vote to pass the Senate bill, or amend it and send it back to the Senate for a do over. As it stands now, there are some very major differences between the health care bills in the House and Senate that may prevent House Democrats from voting for the Senate version.
There are two exceptionally important differences between the bills.
The first is the presence of a public option in the House bill, but lack thereof in the Senate version. That issue MAY prevent some “progressive” Democrats in the House from voting for a final bill without such a provision (if Uncovered by Jim DeMint: Harry Reid declares himself Dictator by illegally declaring, without a vote of 2/3 of the Senate on a rule change, that aspects of the health care bill CANNOT BE REPEALED by a future Congress!
McConnel Surrenders: GOP leadership rolls over and becomes complicit in allowing the majority party kill freedom. McConnell is more concerned about being branded as an “obstructionist” by the media elites and his beltway colleagues than he is about saving freedom in America.
South Carolina Senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham ask SC’s Attorney General to sue Nebraska over Ben Nelson’s special treatment on medicare subsidy funds that hurts every other state.
Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) and John Ensign (R-Nevada) force deabte on the constitutionality of the Senate health care bill. Predictably, Max Baucus pays disingenuous lip service to the Constitution in response, and then claims that the commerce clause gives the federal government the power to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, despite everything else the document clearly states.