Ryan Grim says that steamrolling the House on health care could start sooner than expected:
The health care reform bill that passes the Senate might be the one that ends up on President Obama’s desk, bypassing the usual House-Senate conference committee and avoiding another 60-vote threshold to end a filibuster.
There is increased chatter on Capitol Hill about a possible “ping-ponging” of the Senate health care bill: that chamber would pass its health care bill, send it to the House and the House would be asked to pass it with no changes and send it directly to the president.
Schakowsky and Nadler tell Greg Sargent they won’t go for it:
In interviews with me just now, two well respected House liberals — Jan Schakowsky and Jerrold Nadler — expressed skepticism about the current public option compromises emerging from the Senate, and vowed that House Dems would not be railroaded into swallowing the Senate bill.
“It would be a mistake to think that the House leadership will go into any kind of conference committee with expectation that we’re just gonna sign on to the Senate bill,” Schakowsky told me. “The House intends to negotiate with the Senate. We expect those deliberations to be vigorous. The House is not simply going to sign on the dotted line.”
Yeah. Jan Schakowsky’s gonna buck the White House. I’ll believe that when pigs fly.
But it does bring up an interesting point that deserves more discussion.
Circumventing conference can’t happen without the help of progressive members of the House. There are 83 members of the Progressive Caucus I believe.
One of the things we struggle with is that in districts that are Republican leaning or home to Blue Dogs, blogs just don’t have that much impact. Our readers are (predictably) bunched in strong Democratic outposts.
It will present a whole host of interesting organizing opportunities that we haven’t seen before when rage in these communities allows us to put up reform challengers who will siphon off the strongest activist support over the health issue. Since those districts have no chance of ever going Republican, it would shake up the entire dynamic and pose the first real threat that many of these members have ever had.
It’s something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time.