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Rahm Emanuel Hilariously Leaks That He’s Pushing Reconciliation, But Reid Said No

One sign that reconciliation is starting to get some serious consideration around Washington is that Rahm Emanuel is starting to leak that it was all his idea.

Two sources have told CNN that White House Chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to use the budget process known as reconciliation to push through health reform – and that Reid has rejected that request.

My best guess is that those sources are Rahm Emanuel and Ari Emanuel.

This is more about blame-shifting than momentum for reconciliation, in all probability. Rahm Emanuel wants to hang Harry Reid out to dry for the imminent failure of health care reform, and vice-versa (hence the earlier Politico piece).

What is important is that reconciliation, long seen as nowhere near this discussion, has gravitated to the top of it. John Podesta floating reconciliation and saying that there will be a bill at the end of the day is pretty significant.

To those who say that the bill won’t be very good coming out of that process, I would direct you to Tom Harkin of the Capitulation Caucus:

Sen Tom Harkin, D-IA, has conceded that the public option, once a top priority for him in healthcare reform, and Medicare buy-in are gone from Senate legislative efforts.

“It’s not fair but it’s reality,” Harkin said, of the move precipitated by an announcement by Lieberman, D-CT, that he would oppose the healthcare bill if those two items remain in it.

Democratic Senators are meeting at this hour.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/14/democrats-butt-heads-health-care-plan-huddle-obama/

UPDATE: A Senate leadership aide tells FDL News that “right now, we are not considering reconciliation,” which of course doesn’t preclude the option in the future.

UPDATE II: CNN has now taken the unusual step of updating this story to say it’s entirely untrue, presumably because of pushback from the people involved.

Updated 6:30 pm ET: Earlier today, two sources – one White House and one Senate – indicated White House chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had suggested to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the possibility of using budget reconciliation to pass health care. Both sources now tell CNN that Emanuel did not make that suggestion. One of the sources said there had been some recent White House interest in using the reconciliation process. However, the source acknowledged that the idea now appears to be a non-starter. Reid has said he opposes using the legislative maneuver.

Don’t believe everything you read, people.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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