The Corner

House First

It has seemed for a few weeks as though the Senate was likely to move first on health-care reform, and the House leadership would wait to see what could pass in the upper chamber before sending their members out on a limb for a bill that might end up going nowhere. Now, however, as the Senate bill negotiations seem unlikely to be resolved for weeks, Nancy Pelosi appears to have decided to move first, and quickly. She will announce the combined House Democratic bill tomorrow morning, and may try to push for a vote very quickly, within a week or so. That means, as Bill Kristol suggests here, that she will force her members to vote on painful tax increases and extremely unpopular Medicare cuts before it’s clear what can really clear the Senate — much as she did earlier this year with the cap-and-trade vote. House Democrats have to be wondering if their Speaker just doesn’t want them to be reelected next year.

Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs.