Earlier this month, we heard a lot of talk about how the Democrats were bypassing a formal conference committee to merge the two bills and simply doing closed door talks and "ping ponging" the bills betwen the two chambers.
But now, in the wake of Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, the Democrats are engaging in a bit of rhetorical "ping pong," with members in each chamber saying the ball was in the other chamber's court.
Earlier today, Brian Beutler reported that:
After an early morning meeting today, members of the Senate Democratic leadership said outright what many suspected after last night's election: The fate of health care rests with the House.
And then this afternoon, the Greg Sargent reported this:
In a private meeting in the Capitol just now, a dozen or more House liberals bluntly told Nancy Pelosi that there was no chance that they would vote to pass the Senate bill in its current form - making it all but certain that House Dems won't opt for this approach, a top House liberal tells me.
"We cannot support the Senate bill - period," is the message that liberals delivered to the Speaker, Dem Rep Raul Grijalva told me in an interview just now.
He also picked up on a growing resentment among House members for the deference shown to the Senate:
For instance, Grijalva said, why not send the Senate individual bills that would, among other things, nix the "Cadillac" tax or close the donut hole, pressuring the Senate to deal with each provision separately?
"If the Senate chooses not to close the donut hole, that's their damn problem," Grijalva said. "They've had it too easy. One vote controls everything. Collectively, we're tired of that."
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