On Hardball today, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) joined the chorus of rank-and-file Democrats who have come out against the possibility of the House passing the Senate health care reform bill exactly as it is in order to get legislation out of its current deadlock.
“We’re not going to pass the Senate bill — that’s not going to go anywhere in the House,” Pascrell said.
What I think we need to do is what the President suggested: step back, take a breather. I would have done this before Thanksgiving though, Chris, I think that’s when it was inevitable that we were heading for a collision course. Before Massachusetts, just after New Jersey and Virginia. The handwriting was on the wall. To be arrogant and not accept the dictates of those couple of elections–it is not the end of the world by any stretch, there are more Republicans retiring than Democrats–but again, if you indicate that you’re not affected by these elections there is something wrong in the process. We’re not responding to what the people’s feelings are.
When host Chris Matthews asked why a deal couldn’t be reached, Pascrell voiced his agreement with the pass-it-in-chunks faction of reform advocates: “I have suggested that we divide this into segments. We deal with the reforms first, we deal with anti-trust second. And then we even deal with liabilities, there is no way to get around that problem.”
Still, Pascrell believes some kind of reform is achievable this year. “Yes, I really believe that it can happen. I believe that the President should try again to reach out to the other side.”