In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Obama's Pushing Congress To Vote On Health Care Before August--Here's Why

If a lot of work remains to be done on health care after the August recess, Congress will find itself fast upon its deadline to pass a budget reconciliation bill. Democrats have suggested that they'd use the reconciliation process to pass health care reform if a bipartisan bill is unable to pass via normal legislative channels by mid-October--Obama's current goal. The very possibility of going the reconciliation route--and thereby avoiding a filibuster--has served as a weak lever of sorts for congressional leaders--a call to health care reform fence-sitters and opponents to play along, or be shut out of the process altogether. But in reality this isn't how Democrats--or anybody else on the Hill, really--wants health care to pass.

And yet, if Congress enters recess with weeks of work left to do, party leaders may have to make a call; and those who oppose passing health care through the reconciliation process--Republicans and some Democrats--might be trying to run out the clock--to call leadership's bluff, or, at the very least, to touch off a game of legislative chicken. If that's what it comes to, the political fight will be fascinating to watch. But it's pretty clear that party leaders and a cautious White House would prefer not to have to make the call.

Hence all the urgency.