Wow. I’m not sure what to make of this. Though it clearly sounds like House progressives aren’t willing to simply pass the Senate bill and be done with it.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said any hope for a compromise between House and Senate health care reform legislation is dead following his state’s election of a GOP senator last night.
“I think the measure that would have passed, that is, some compromise between the House and Senate bill, which I would have voted for, although there were some aspects of both bills I would have liked to see change, I think that’s dead,” Frank said in an interview Wednesday morning on Sirius-XM Radio. “It is certainly the case that the bill that would have passed, a compromise between the House and Senate bills, isn’t going to pass, in my judgment, and certainly shouldn’t.”
…. Meanwhile, Frank said health care legislation should go back to square one, and that prospect offers hope of finding a bipartisan solution.
“We are back to where we were maybe even years ago. That is, there is now no bill that I believe can pass or should pass,” he said. But, he added, Dems may find a newly willing ally in Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), the only Senate GOPer to vote in favor of any health care legislation. “Sen. Snowe may be willing to work now with her Democratic colleagues, and maybe 3, 4, 5, 6 other Republicans would be, to try and put something together. If that’s not the case, and Sen. Snowe and others aren’t for some fairly significant changes, then we’ll go into the election with the health care status quo.”
Great, back to President Snowe again. There is another option. We get rid of the filibuster once and for all, and pass this sucker. I’ve been very tepid on the notion of getting rid of the filibuster, but at this point, the GOP has made clear that they plan on filibustering everything – and the Democrats intend on letting them – and that is not the way it was intended to be used. At the very least, perhaps there is a way to water down the filibuster, significantly, so that it can’t be used endlessly. I remember reading that such an option was being discussed pre-Coakley.