Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) a crucial Democratic vote in the Senate should reconciliation be pursued, said bluntly that the House must pass the Senate bill as-is before the Senate will take up a “sidecar” of compromises on the legislation.
“I don’t know of any way, I don’t know of any way where you can have a reconciliation bill pass before the bill that it is meant to reconcile passes,” said Conrad, who would be a central figure on the Senate floor if Democrats embark on the complicated process. ”I don’t know how you would deal with the scoring. I don’t know how I could look you in the eye and say this package reduces the deficit. It’s kind of got the cart before the horse.”
When reminded that House Democrats don’t want to do health care in that order, Conrad said bluntly: “Fine, then it’s dead.”