by John Hawkins | June 8, 2009 4:46 pm
Today, I had an interesting conversation with one of my sources in the Senate. This person, who’s very sharp, had some intriguing things to say about how the votes and timeline are looking for health care and immigration behind-the-scenes in the Senate. What follows is a sightly edited transcript of our conversation (and, yes, I did get permission to post).
John Hawkins: So, what’s it looking like on health care? Are they going to be able to jam socialized medicine through?
Anonymous Senate Aide: Maybe, maybe not on the Obamacare cram through.
John Hawkins: So, it’s iffy? Will the GOP hang tight on it?
Anonymous Senate Aide: Honestly… I just don’t see it happening. The stimulus and bailouts have taken a toll on Obama’s poll numbers and the bill that Kennedy/Baucus seem to be drafting is pretty [email protected] scary. I think we have a good chance to stop it, but never underestimate our ability to screw it all up.
John Hawkins: Will Dems peel off to oppose it you think? They usually hang together on stuff like this.
Anonymous Senate Aide: We won’t know until the final bill comes out. The congressional year is shortening by the day. They want to cram this through before August, but that will be a big challenge for them. Plus, there are so many minefields (tax hikes, rationed care, public plan, forcing people away from their doctors, etc.)
John Hawkins: While I got you, Harry Reid has been talking about doing immigration this year. You think that will happen or is he just blowing smoke?
Anonymous Senate Aide: NO FREAKIN WAY. How do they suppose they can ram through amnesty this year? They can’t even get their emergency supplemental done. Health care and Cap & Trade will eat up big floor time, and they still need to do appropriations.
John Hawkins: Is the GOP going to fight hard?
Anonymous Senate Aide: Fight amnesty? We better. I think it’s a total nonstarter. Their moderates don’t want to deal with amnesty in a reelection year.
John Hawkins: What about socialized medicine?
Anonymous Senate Aide: The whole conference is focusing on that, but remember these guys are slow on the uptake when it comes to healthcare. It will take some overreaching by Dems to give us the best chance to defeat it, but it looks like that’s what is happening.
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