Critical Condition

With or Without You

My senior senator makes a vow:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Democratic leaders are promising to push through a health care bill even if negotiations with Republicans fail.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday there are contingency steps that will be considered as a last resort. Among the possible steps is invoking a legislative procedure known as reconciliation. Such as step is problematic because of its strict limits on what would be allowed in the bill and what wouldn’t.

Three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee face a Sept. 15 deadline to wrap up talks and come up with a plan. Four of five congressional committees have acted on health care legislation.

Schumer complained that Republicans had been hindering work on a bipartisan health care bill.