On Health Care, Senators Cannot Agree On Anything But An Intense Desire To Shirk Their Duty
July 27, 2017

Everything is fine. No, really. After holding a vote on single payer Medicare for All earlier today which failed because it was proposed by a Republican who does not believe in single payer but instead wanted to oppo troll Democrats, the Senate Republicans have a problem.

They can't agree on anything to pass. They can't make policy that will actually garner 50 votes, and Democrats are not helping them. In fact, Senator Chuck Schumer said Democrats will not continue to offer amendments on a bill they have not seen because there is no bill.

Let me repeat that. There is no bill, and the one bill they are considering putting out there -- the so-called 'skinny repeal' bill -- is a bill they don't want to see reach the president's desk in its current form.

In the meantime, the House of Representatives has instituted the "Martial Law rule," allowing them to slam through a bill in one day that would otherwise take three.

You see the dilemma, right? The Senate wants to hand off the bill back to the House, where they want a conference committee to figure out those things which the entire body has not.

The House will not guarantee a committee, and has indicated they will have no guarantees until the Senate passes something.

Chris Hayes had this to say:

Take another drag off that bong and see if you can wrap your mind around that.

As I write this, there are about 4 hours left to debate the non-existent bill which needs to reach the floor of the Senate and pass in order for the House to then either ram it through or send it to committee.

Meanwhile, Senators did manage to pass the House version of the sanctions bill 98-2. It will now go up to Trump, as a veto-proof rebuke to his refusal to deal realistically with Russia's interference. It also imposes some Iran and North Korea sanctions.

Here is my idea. Trump keeps saying he's got his pen ready to sign legislation, right?

Send up the sanctions bill, tell him it's health care, and get him to sign it. Then the Senate can bail on this hare-brained idea to send a shell bill over to the House, as if they would somehow magically approve the things the House has already done.

Meanwhile, the clock is counting down their debate time. Republicans are using all of theirs now, because Democrats just aren't going to debate something they haven't read. Republicans shouldn't either.

Update: Here is the TL;DR version of the post above:

Update 2: Paul Ryan, dancing the jig

Update 3: Chris Murphy explains how we're all going to be screwed because Senators are willing to abrogate their duty.

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