In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Labor Coalesces: Pass Senate Health Care Bill, But Only If It's Fixed Quickly

Newscom / Ringo Chiu

Such a pairing, according to Vale, should be "simultaneous, or almost side by side."

Functionally, these are nearly identical positions. Vale says an outreach effort to disgruntled progressives and members supportive of organized labor is ongoing. "From the very beginning we have been discussing and communicating these decisions with members, progressives...and are of course continuing to do so now."

Unclear is how large a time lag between the two bills labor would accept. As to whether passing a reconciliation bill to amend the Senate bill is feasible, union officials see a ray of hope. "If the House passed the Senate bill, could reconciliation, that process, be used to fix things that might be improved upon? Yes," Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) told reporters today. "Would I support it? I can't know that without knowing what would be included in the package."