Parliamentarian Kills an Option for Enacting Health Bill

The Senate Parliamentarian may throw a monkey wrench into the Democrat machine by which they intend to ram ObamaCare through the U.S. Congress:

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.

Information Republicans say they have received from the Senate Parliamentarian’s Office eliminates that option. House Democratic leaders last week began looking at crafting a legislative rule that would allow the House to approve the Senate health care bill, but not forward it to Obama for his signature until the Senate clears the reconciliation package.

If the Parliamentarian rules against the Democrat maneuver, it’s big news indeed and bad news for the Dems:

House Democrats do not trust the Senate; they do not want to pass the Senate bill–with all the special deals in it–and hope the Senate will fix these problems and others later. Even Democrat Michael Capuano of Massachusetts is expressing very grave concerns about passing the Senate bill unamended.

If this report is true, the parliamentarian’s ruling seems to nix the “Slaughter Solution,” whereby the House would deem the Senate bill passed only after the reconciliation bill is passed by both the House and the Senate.

What would the Democrats do should the Parliamentarian rule against them? John McCormack says Harry Reid will fire the Senate parliamentarian. But such a move would ignite a firestorm.

Toasted marshmallows, anyone?

- JP

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