Monday, March 15, 2010

Let The Games Begin

The time change exacerbates my insomnia for a day or two so last night I was thumbing through Twitter on my iPhone from the comfort of my bed, waiting for sleep to come. Somewhere around midnight I catch this tweet from Michelle Malkin:

And sleep was no longer going to come peacefully.

Of course, there was no point even trying to read this bill. It's not the real bill. It's the shell bill.

As Phillip Klein has already warned us:

In a phone interview with TAS Thursday afternoon, Ryan said that he expects Democrats to begin the complex process on Monday, under which they would have the Budget Committee approve a phantom bill by midnight, which they will then send over to the Rules Committee. At that point, the Rules Committee will strip out all of the language in the phantom bill, and insert the changes to the Senate bill that Democrats have negotiated.

They don't have the votes right now. The Hill has the latest Whip count. Check to see who you need to call! Pelosi needs 39 of those Democrats who previously voted No in November to vote Yes now.

And to help her along, Obama is now backing off his previous edict that no special deals are made - that is, unless it benefits more than one state. Ed Morrissey explains the new game:

In case you want to play The Price is Right with Bob Baracker, here are the new rules. Single state deals are verboten, so no Cornhusker Kickback for you. If two states get together to demand special deals, well, come on down!

Some things never change.

So where are we now? From Doug Ross:

TODAY or MONDAY: CBO will publish final scores on legislative language

: House Budget Committee must approve using the reconciliation process to pass this

THEN: The bill will go to the Rules Committee, rule will be constructed for consideration on the floor, and language will be posted online (on the Rules website) and the 72-hour clock will start. When this happens, we will start to have a better idea on what the process will be.

THEN: A Manager’s Amendment will be constructed that will make some final changes

THEN: The Manager’s Amendment will be posted online and the 72-hour clock will start (this may overlap with the 72-hour clock on the reconciliation language). When Manager’s Amendment is done final process decisions will be locked in.

THIS MEANS: We will likely vote Friday or Saturday. (As you probably saw, POTUS pushed back the departure for his Asian trip from Thursday the 18th to Sunday the 21st; this was not a coincidence.) The Speaker has publicly committed to trying to get a vote on both the reconciliation bill and the Senate bill on the same day. They are still trying to work out the final process on this and much of what we do depends on what the Senate Parliamentarian decides. You may be receiving calls about the “Slaughter Rule” and other rumors about what the process will be. Again, please understand: no decision has yet been made on the process for consideration on the House floor.

It's going to be an interesting week.

If there's any way you can get to Washington on Tuesday, the 16th, head that way. If, like me, you just can't be there, work the phones. Melt, melt, melt the phones! Burn up the Fax machines! Stuff the email boxes! Speak out!

More at Memeorandum.

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