In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Conrad: Health Care 'Dead' Unless House Passes Senate Bill First

Newscom / Scott J. Ferrell

Conrad added that he wouldn't personally make any promises or symbolic gestures to House members to assure them that the Senate can or will take any action in a reconciliation bill to address House concerns.

"I don't sign any blank check," Conrad said.

Other Senate Democrats have been more flexible on that point. On Monday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) told me that he and his colleagues should "promise to the House, hand on the bible type stuff, that we will do a reconciliation bill that will meet some of your objections to the Senate bill."

And a spokesperson for Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) told TPMDC yesterday that Carper would be willing to sign on to a letter assuring House Democrats that the Senate would take action on a reconciliation bill if they passed the comprehensive Senate bill first.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at