Democrats will have the votes to pass health care reform, but they’re probably going to use reconciliation to do it, Nancy-Ann DeParle said yesterday. Obama seems to be leaning toward asking the House to pass a version of the Senate bill, then have the Senate appease House Dems by passing changes to that bill using reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes, the Washington Post reports. DeParle, Obama’s health care director, fueled that speculation, signaling that Obama could pass the bill along party lines.
“We're not talking about changing any rules here,” DeParle said on Meet the Press. “All the president is talking about is … does it make sense to have a simple up-or-down vote?” Republicans say voters will punish Democrats if they pass reform along party lines, but Nancy Pelosi yesterday opined that it was worth the risk. “Why are we here?” she said. “We're not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress. We're here to do the job for the American people.”