Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) is not someone I usually agree with, but he’s right about this:
The Senate Democrats’ top budget guy told reporters today that the Senate can’t pass a reconciliation package tweaking a comprehensive health care bill unless the House passes the Senate bill first. And if the House won’t do that, he says health care reform is “dead.”
“The only way this works is for the House to pass the Senate bill and then, depending on what the package is, the reconciliation provision that moves first through the House and then comes here,” said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) outside the upper chamber this morning. “That’s the only way that works.”
I pointed out that House leadership, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has repeatedly insisted they won’t take a flier on a reconciliation package–that they will only pass the Senate bill after the smaller side-car reconciliation bill has been all wrapped up.
“Fine, then it’s dead,” Conrad said.
And if Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats are willing to kill health care reform over something like this, then fine, too. They will pay for it in November.