The Corner

What’s Plan C?

House Dems won’t support the Senate bill — “period.”

In a private meeting in the Capitol just now, a dozen or more House liberals bluntly told Nancy Pelosi that there was no chance that they would vote to pass the Senate bill in its current form — making it all but certain that House Dems won’t opt for this approach, a top House liberal tells me.

“We cannot support the Senate bill — period,” is the message that liberals delivered to the Speaker, Dem Rep Raul Grijalva told me in an interview just now.

Some had hoped Pelosi would push liberals to get in line behind this approach, in hopes of expediting reform, but that didn’t appear to happen in this meeting. Pelosi mostly listened, Grijalva said, adding: “We didn’t get any declarative statement from her.”

The meeting, which was polite but blunt in tone, underscores the degree to which Dems are scrambling to figure out a way forward on health care in the wake of last night’s loss. The unwillingness of liberals, and some in labor, to support passing the Senate bill means House Dem leaders need to find another way forward — fast — and leadership aides are scouring procedural rules as we speak.

That last bit about scouring the procedural rules sounds ominous. Is there some secret alternative to reconciliation hidden in the back pages of a dusty tome in the Capitol basement?

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