We cannot count on Conrad—or can we?
In a column at the Washington Post, Sen. Conrad says that reconciliation could be used for “fixer” measures that reduce the deficit—not for comprehensive changes. But, he continues, that’s ok, since the Senate bill is good, and a few fixer measures would be better.
Thus Conrad makes it clear that he wants the bill, and he would like some changes added by reconciliation, but that all the changes that various House members want cannot happen.
However, aren’t there reconciliation measures that various House holdouts insist on that are not deficit reductions measures—say, abortion?
Thus, while Conrad wants nationalized health care and is not on our side substantively, his procedural position may back up what I said in the previous entry. Which is that in the absence of absolute certainty that the Senate will add the promised measures to the bill after the House passes it, the House holdouts will not agree to vote for it. And since (as I’m guessing) not all the measures they want can be done by reconciliation, at least some of the House holdouts won’t sign on.