Roll Call: Senate Parliamentarian gut punches ObamaCare 

Democrats in Congress had held forth hope that they could vote almost simultaneously on the Senate version of ObamaCare and on a companion fix-up reconciliation bill. The order matters, because it would reassure some skittish House Democrats who would otherwise oppose health care reform.

Unfortunately, David Drucker writes, the Senate Parliamentarian is having none of it:

The Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that President Barack Obama must sign Congress’ original health care reform bill before the Senate can act on a companion reconciliation package, senior GOP sources said Thursday.

The Senate Parliamentarian’s Office was responding to questions posed by the Republican leadership. The answers were provided verbally, sources said.

House Democratic leaders have been searching for a way to ensure that any move they make to approve the Senate-passed $871 billion health care reform bill is followed by Senate action on a reconciliation package of adjustments to the original bill. One idea is to have the House and Senate act on reconciliation prior to House action on the Senate’s original health care bill.

In other words, there's one less option available now, and it's not possible to provide gurarantees for the House Democrats -- including most recently Rep. Mike Capuano, D-Mass. -- who want guarantees that offensive provisions will be removed from the Senate bill through the fix-up bill.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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