But, whether these parliamentary manuvers will stand up in a court challenge is another matter.
The Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that President Barack Obama must sign Congressâ€™ original health care reform bill before the Senate can act on a companion reconciliation package, senior GOP sources said Thursday.
The Senate Parliamentarianâ€™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 Senateâ€™s original health care bill.
Information Republicans say they have received from the Senate Parliamentarianâ€™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.
The biggest challenge though for the Democrats will be the negative political fallout from ramming this legislation through without any sense of bipartisan consensus. The fallout will mean massive Democrat Pary losses at the November midterm Congressional elections with a concomitant reversal of the legislation.