Healthcare reform update: It’s all about 60 votes
My sources tell me that reconciliation — pushing through HC in the Senate with 51 votes with a special parliamentary procedure — isn’t going to happen. So the big votes will need 60, including just opening debate. And rest assured that if Reid thinks he has 60 to pass, the debate will immediately come to an end.
Keith Hennessey gives his odds update:
I am lowering from 60% to 50% my projection for the success of comprehensive health care reform.
- Pass a partisan comprehensive bill through the House and through the regular Senate process with 60, leading to a law; (was 40% –> 30%)
- Pass a partisan comprehensive bill through the House and through the reconciliation process with 51 Senate Democrats, leading to a law; (steady at 20%)
- Fall back to a much more limited bill that becomes law; (was 20% –> 15%)
- No bill becomes law this Congress. (was 20% –> 35%)
I think there is zero chance a bill makes it to the President’s desk before 2010. If a bill were to become law, I would anticipate completion in late January or even February. …
I have lowered my projection of Leader Reid succeeding for three reasons: Pretty much everything has to go right for him to win on cloture in mid-December. He has no more wiggle room on the schedule, and new intra-Democrat policy fights are popping up.
I think his members are going to get beat up about health care and jobs over Thanksgiving recess, then return to Washington to face another bad jobs day Friday the 4th. If moderates demand large substantive concessions for their votes, liberals like Senators Rockefeller and Boxer may refuse. They may tell Reid they will oppose cloture if the bill moves toward the center, and instead advocate abandoning regular order and starting a clean reconciliation process in January. House liberals might join this effort.