September 11, 2009
[efoods]President Barack Obama this week has been laying the foundation for Senate Democrats to use a controversial budget maneuver to pass healthcare reform.
By offering Republicans olive branches during his address to Congress on Wednesday, Obama has set up a win-win situation. If GOP lawmakers embrace compromise, a healthcare bill would pass Congress easily. But the more likely scenario is that Republicans will continue to oppose Obamaâ€™s plan, and the president later this fall will be able to note he tried to strike a deal with the GOP but could not.
That will set up a Democratic argument that Senate leaders have been forced to use a partisan budget tool known as reconciliation to pass a health bill through the Senate by a simple majority, instead of 60 votes. Under the budget plan they passed earlier this year, Democrats could invoke the reconciliation process on Oct. 15.