The US congress refuses to represent The People anymore. They are all about special interest and they are bound and determined to cram this mess down everybody’s throats. They planned this ahead of time in case Coakley lost.
Health Bill Can Pass Senate With 51 Votes, Van Hollen Says - Bloomberg.com
Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Even if Democrats lose the Jan. 19 special election to pick a new Massachusetts senator, Congress may still pass a health-care overhaul by using a process called reconciliation, a top House Democrat said.
That procedure requires 51 votes rather than the 60 needed to prevent Republicans from blocking votes on President Barack Obama’s top legislative priorities. That supermajority is at risk as the Massachusetts race has tightened.
“Even before Massachusetts and that race was on the radar screen, we prepared for the process of using reconciliation,” said Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“Getting health-care reform passed is important,” Van Hollen said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend. “Reconciliation is an option.”
Using reconciliation would likely force Democrats to scale back their health-care plans. The procedure is designed to make deficit-cutting easier by reducing the number of votes needed to pass unpopular tax increases and spending cuts. Lawmakers can’t include policy changes that the parliamentarian deems have only an “incidental” connection to budget-cutting, and senators would need 60 votes to override those rulings.
Van Hollen also said he expects Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley to win in Massachusetts.
Van Hollen said Republican predictions that the political climate had changed so much that they can capture the 40 seats needed to regain control of the House was “pure hallucination.”
“Why would you hand the keys to the car back to the same guys whose policies drove the economy into the ditch and then walked away from the scene of the accident?” Van Hollen said. “For the Republicans to say vote for us and bring back the guys who got us into this mess in the first place, I don’t think it’s a winner.”
He said Democrats expect to see their majority shrink this year because the party that occupies the White House traditionally loses congressional seats in the first midterm election.
At the end of a week dominated by images of death and destruction after the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, Van Hollen said lawmakers likely will approve whatever relief money the president requests. Obama has already asked for $100 million.
“We want to help people who need relief immediately, and so to that extent I support it,” Van Hollen said.