Reconciliation begins tomorrow?

In spite of what was said by Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate and one of those charged with banging lawmaker heads together, reconciliation is increasingly looking like the only way to advance healthcare reform legislation.

Dick Durbin, the Democratic senator from Illinois and Mr Reid’s sidekick, was asked during the lunch break what would happen tomorrow if there was no progress today.

“If nothing comes of this we’re going to press forward. We just can’t quit. This is a once in a political lifetime opportunity to deal with a health care system that is really unsustainable,” he told reporters outside Blair House.

Asked if reconciliation could start tomorrow, Mr Durbin responded: “I wouldn’t go that far. We will sit down in leadership and if we have some helpful Republicans, this could be an easy assignment. But if not, it could be a little harder.”

So that’s a yes then.

Separately, your correspondent can confirm that the president had chicken for lunch. As for those who stayed at Blair House, they had a choice of hot or cold lunch.  Hot Lunch: Chicken with vegetables and spinach, or grilled salmon, rice and seasonal vegetables. Cold Lunch: Salads, smoked turkey or grilled tenderloin. Very healthy indeed.

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

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