Everybody on the internets is linking to this E. J. Dionne piece, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading:
The core problem is that the House Democrats no longer trust the Senate Democrats. And let’s be honest: There is no reason in the world for House Democrats to trust the Senate Democrats at this point, or even to feel very kindly disposed toward them.
That’s why there is resistance in the House to the most straightforward solution, which is for the House to pass the Senate health-care bill and send it to the president, and then to use the reconciliation process (which requires only 51 votes in the Senate) to pass the changes in the bill that House and Senate negotiators have agreed to — or, at least, as many of those changes as is procedurally possible. They can’t get all the changes into law that way, but they could get a lot of them.
The catch is that the House Democrats don’t believe the Senate Democrats will necessarily keep their word and pass the reconciliation bill containing the amendments. And it’s not only the question of trust: anyone who has watched the Senate for the last year can be forgiven for wondering if it is even functional enough (given Republican obstruction and a lack of cohesion in the Democratic caucus) to keep a promise sincerely made.
Update. A Sully reader replies to a different statement, but what he says is also a good reply to House Dems:
With all due respect, this totally ignores the fact that 100% of Senate Democrats support healthcare reform (all 59 of them), but because of the antiquated, undemocratic filibuster rule, which is being used as a daily weapon by Senate Republicans, we aren’t able to pass it. As a Chief of Staff to a Democratic Senator….
The “all 59 of them” line is a big disingenuous, but there’s not much doubt there are 53 or more Senators who are on the same page with the House. If this can be boiled down to the proverbial up-or-down-vote, then it’s silly for House Democrats to pretend they’ll be punched in the neck and slapped in the face as they slide under the bus.