Just 14 hours after House approval, President Obama charged ahead to get his signature healthcare reform pushed through the Senate by calling on everyone to “take up the baton and bring this effort to the finish line.”
It’s Christmas or bust.
New York Times: Apart from substantive hurdles, the Senate bill faces procedural ones; Mr. Reid cannot bring it to the floor for debate until he gets an analysis, or “score,” from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, expected later this week. The delay could push Senate consideration of the bill until after Thanksgiving, which could in turn make it very difficult for Congress to meet Mr. Obama’s goal of signing a health bill into law by the end of this year.
The timing is crucial. Administration officials say Mr. Obama wants to wrap up work on health care so that he can turn his attention to other legislative priorities, including passing an energy bill and revamping financial regulations. But White House officials also know that the closer the final vote comes to the November 2010 midterm Congressional elections, the more difficult it will be to pass legislation.
Sending members of Congress home over an extended Christmas break without a health care bill in hand could prove disastrous politically.