House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there are no procedural hurdles facing the Senate if it wants to take the necessary steps to make sure health care reform passes.
Pelosi has insisted for some time now that the Senate health care bill can not pass the House unamended, but that she can probably round up the votes if the Senate and the House both pass a sidecar bill making a number of pre-emptive changes to it.
"Don't even ask us to consider passing the Senate bill until the other legislation has passed both houses so that we're sure that it has happened, and that we know that what we would be voting for would be as effected by a reconciliation bill or whatever parliamentary initiative they have at their disposal," Pelosi said on a conference call this afternoon.
Senate aides have complained that her plan presents them with a big parliamentary difficulty: they don't know
if they can pass legislation amending a bill that hasn't been signed into law yet.
Pelosi says that's simply not true.
"No. It is not an obstacle to this path forward."
"There's a certain degree of pressure on the House...pass [the Senate] bill and then we'll pass yours, and this or that," Pelosi added. "But that's not going to happen. And we want to be very clear on that."
Back over to you, Harry Reid.