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Reid to visit House with 'whip check' in hand

By Michael D. Shear

President Obama may be the guest of honor at the House Democratic Caucus this afternoon, but the guy everyone wants a piece of is Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.)

The Majority Leader will venture to the other side with a "whip check" in hand -- in this case a letter that will show a majority of the Senate plans to vote for the health care "fixes" -- or reconciliation -- bill if the House passes it.

Given the lack of trust that exists between Democrats in the two chambers, Reid may need some body armor. House members have been demanding proof that the other chamber will follow through after what many House members believe could be the toughest vote of their careers.

Their fear: that the Senate could decide not to pass the fixes, leaving the original Senate-passed bill -- with provisions noxious to House members -- as the law of the land. Or, they could make some changes to the fixes bill, forcing yet another vote in the House.

"We have to find a device to receive absolute assurances from our Senate colleagues that they'll be able to complete the reconciliation process in the Senate," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told The Hill last week.

Reid spokesman Jim Manley says the fears are overblown, part of the worst atmosphere of distrust between the two chambers that he can remember. He says House Democrats have little to worry about.

"Sen. Reid has indicated both publicly and privately, repeatedly, that he ands his caucus are absolutely committed to getting the bill done as quickly as possible next week," Manley said.

Whip checks -- in which the leaders of one chamber check with their party's counterparts in the other to see how a vote is shaping up -- are common. But they are rarely made public. Manley said the letter will be released after today's caucus meeting.

White House officials hope the letter helps calm jittery House Democrats. And Reid's presence at the caucus today will allow House members to look him directly in the eyes.

Manley said he's not worried.

"He's a former boxer," Manley said of Reid. "He can take care of himself."

By Steve Reiss  |  March 20, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Capitol Briefing  
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Comments

Ok, it's time for the American military to seize congress and the president, declare martial law, try Obama and Biden and Pelosi, convict Obama and Biden and Pelosi, execute Obama and Biden and Pelosi, then return the government to the American people.

Posted by: jhr1 | March 20, 2010 11:53 AM

-----------------

Seriously, you're advocating the military overthrow of the legitimately elected government of the United States of America because people are going to get health insurance.

Do you people even listen to yourselves?

Posted by: js_edit | March 20, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse


Wouldn't it be a hoot if after Obama destroys his own party to pass this bill, the Supreme Court that he so publicly disrespected nullifies the law.

Talk about a win-win for America!

Posted by: JCM-51 | March 20, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Ok, it's time for the American military to seize congress and the president, declare martial law, try Obama and Biden and Pelosi, convict Obama and Biden and Pelosi, execute Obama and Biden and Pelosi, then return the government to the American people.

Posted by: jhr1 | March 20, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey Harry,if this joke of a bill passes and the public starts feeling the effects and realizing that you played a major part in writing and passing this abomination,The only thing you should be running for is the hills !Better get a gun and pull out your camping gear. I hear the bears are pretty big in the mountains.: - >

Posted by: votingrevolution | March 20, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The Democratic members of the United States Senate will insist on adding additional "earmarks" to the Health Care bill!


This drama will contine for at least another week.

Posted by: mwhoke | March 20, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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