While most of us initially had the reaction that House Democrats would drop the Slaughter Solution only if it meant that they had the votes to pass it with a straight up or down vote; it occurred to me there might be an alternate explanation. What if the Senate Bill was going down in flames no matter what?
If they lost the vote tomorrow using “Deem and Pass”, it would have been a major defeat that would permanently derail their Government Takeover fantasies (or at least for a few more congresses) — and that would be the end of the road for ObamaCare. Waterloo.
The big problem, of course, is that no matter what the House does tomorrow, the only Bill with a chance of becoming law is the Senate Bill. Reconciliation in the Senate would take weeks — and Senator Hatch came out today promising to make it as difficult on House Democrats as possible; and it wasn’t an toothless threat.
Probably the best case scenario for them in their individual election chances would be if the Senate did nothing on the Reconciliation bill until after the election — but that would mean that the House fixes wouldn’t get passed in the House (since they’ll lose seats in November). Worse (for them); drawing this process out for months would certainly cost them even more seats (5? 10? 20?).
So what to do?
Well, what they did was drop the Slaughter Solution, and scheduled the Fix vote before the Senate vote. This could allow some waffling House members to vote yes on the Fix and enter their name firmly in the no column on the Senate bill, which would let them guarantee their symbolic win (even if the Senate bill is going down to failure) in the form of the Fix bill passing — it also lets them face their constituents back home, and keeps some good graces with the Party leadership.
While it would seem that HCR would be dead in that case, remember that Biden can overrule the Senate Parliamentarian — the obvious next step would be to use Reconciliation in the Senate to add the House Fix bill (or as much of it as they can, per Hatch’s threat) and then send that back to the House.
Is that what they’re doing? We’ll know in about 20 hours.