GOP Plots Political Strategy To Foil Democrats On Heath OverhaulThe Wall Street Journal reports on a Republican strategies for influencing Democratic health reform votes. "Republicans ... are ramping up their warnings to Democratic lawmakers themselves, saying a 'yes' vote puts their political careers at risk. 'I believe if they ram the bill through the House like this, they will lose their majority,' (House Minority Whip Eric Cantor) said. ... 'They do this at their peril.'" Republicans have shifted their strategy, which before consisted of pointing at public opinion they said was against the Democrats' health overhaul. In addition, Republicans are telling House Democrats "there is no guarantee the Senate will approve the 'fixes' bill, because reconciliation gives them other ways to block it." The GOP is also attacking the legitimacy of using reconciliation - which requires only a simple majority vote in the Senate to pass legislation (Bendavid, 3/12).
The Hill: Two senior Republicans said Thursday "they will use a grueling parliamentary process to chip away at healthcare reform legislation if Democrats decide to use reconciliation. Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and ranking Republican Budget Committee member Judd Gregg (N.H.) said they will force votes on virtually every sentence of the healthcare reform bill to overcome Democrats' parliamentary maneuver. 'There will be a lot of tough votes on this bill - a lot - that our colleagues are going to have to take,' Gregg said'" (Rushing, 3/11). This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.