"Senate Democrats will consider approving legislation overhauling the U.S. health-care system without Republican support if the opposition doesn't agree to a bipartisan plan by mid-September, Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said," Bloomberg reports.
Schumer said if he and the five other senators on the finance panel fail to reach a bipartisan solution by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus' (D-Mont.) Sept. 15 deadline, "you have to wonder if the Republicans would ever be willing to agree to anything." On a conference call with reporters, Schumer said, "We will enact health-care reform by the end of the year. If the Republicans are not able to produce an agreement, we will have contingencies in play" (Rowley, 8/3).
According to the Associated Press, "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" (Werner, 8/3). Reconciliation would allow "Senate Democrats to pass a bill with a simple majority rather than a 60-vote filibuster-proof threshold," writes Glen Thrush in his blog for Politico. "Schumer would not say what other contingency plans he had in mind. 'I'm going to leave it at that because we want to get a bipartisan deal,' Schumer said" (Thrush, 8/3).