In this oh-so-transparent Obama Administration, the Democrats in Congress have decided to (most likely) forgo a formal conference to merge the Senate and House healthcare bills. Instead they doing something called a “ping pong” conference. Sounds fun, right? Well, for the Democrats who really, really, really want to get a healthcare bill passed, it’s certainly better than doing a formal merging of the bills because that would involve lots of procedural hurdles in the Senate and give Republicans more ways than one to hold up the horrific bill.
In a ping pong scenario, leaders from each chamber will go back and forth with the bills until they come to a final bill that they are happy with. It’s very much a backroom deal process with little or no input from the Republicans. Talking Points Memo has more on the logistics here.
However, someone is going to have to deal with Rep. Bart Stupak and the abortion issue. The Senate version of the bill doesn’t have the Stupak language and therefore funds abortion with government money. Stupak has made it clear that he plans to hold the line in House and not allow a bill through without his amendment, which prohibits government funding of abortion.
In the end, this ping pong game will have to end with some final bill that will be voted on in both the House and the Senate. The Democrats are willing to do anything to give President Obama a bill, any bill, and at any price.
It’s not too late though. We’ve heard from many sources that people can’t get through on the phones or by email to their Representatives and Senators so the Stop the Abortion Mandate coalition is urging people to visit their Members’ district offices this week while Congress is at home. Download the holiday recess kit here: http://bit.ly/850wLU.