In a meeting with House Republicans at the White House Thursday, President Obama reminded the minority that the last time he reached out to them, they reacted with zero votes -- twice -- for his stimulus package. And then he reminded them again. And again. And again.
A GOP source familiar with the meeting said that the president was extremely sensitive -- even "thin-skinned" -- to the fact that the stimulus bill received no GOP votes in the House. He continually brought it up throughout the meeting.
Obama also offered payback for that goose egg. A major overhaul of the health care system, he told the Republican leadership, would be done using a legislative process known as reconciliation, meaning that the GOP won't be able to filibuster it.
Congress has until October 15 to pass health care or student lending reform under the normal process. If it doesn't, reconciliation can be used to eliminate the 60-vote requirement.
Democratic aides said that Obama made clear to the GOP leadership that he would continue to work in a bipartisan way, but that they didn't have veto power over health care policy. GOP aides, however, said that Obama was pretty clear that reconciliation would be used. "From what was told me, it sounded more like he would
That's right, healthcare WILL happen this year and if the Congressional Republicans decide not to come to the table to help then they will get runover with budget reconcilliation all but insuring that it will pass whether the GOP votes for it or not. If the Republicans want to model themselves after the Taliban its high time President Obama started treating them like the Taliban.
But President Obama didn't just put the GOP on notice, he also sent the same message to ConservaDems in his own party, specifically Ben Nelson, when it comes to reforming student loans. Budget reconcilliation will be used there as well if no compromise can be found. President Obama is moving to get shit done, and thats change I can believe in!