The members of the House of Representatives did their job yesterday with sufficient votes to pass the American Health Care Act of 2017. That now goes on to the Senate…except the Senators are very unlikely to vote on that bill. They, being the more intelligent elders (as they see themselves), will very likely build their own version and pass that. What that version will look like is anybody’s guess at the moment.
In all likelihood, there will be two bills since the Senate has wants and needs that are not accommodated by the House bill, and those two bills will then need to be homogenized into a final version theoretically acceptable to both House and Senate. We are still some distance away from that vote, and things can change markedly in the District of Columbia in such a length of time.
We know, for example, that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has already voiced his displeasure with the House’ version so that sets the table for many other Senators to do likewise and that means some time will pass before there is even the need for blending the two approaches. That time can sometimes seem like a lifetime in the turbulence that is Washington, D.C. The dynamics that existed yesterday can easily change today. There could very easily be several aborted approaches before something will stick to the wall in both the House and Senate.
This is the wisdom of the Founding Fathers at work. It can seem very time-consuming and very cumbersome but it works, and usually for the greater good of us all after rough edges have been polished, things removed and other things added, etc. Exposing this debate to the public also gets other ideas and/or issues brought forward, and that results in a better final product.
The Republicans in the House can breathe a bit easier today since they have proved they can actually get ‘stuff’ done in spite of the various coalitions that often muddy the waters. It helps Speaker Ryan out of the potentially awkward situation he found himself facing. If the Senate Republican ‘elders’ can avoid getting in their own way, and do not have to do the ‘Peacock strut’ for the folks back home for days on end, this might get done in this session.
These dances of elephants, no pun intended although it is certainly there, can be among the most aggravating activities coming out of Washington, D.C. Promises made to constituencies have to be honored or finessed in order to find common ground between the two versions. This is not a problem of only one party; it is a universal problem. This may well extend to find President Trump doing some arm-twisting to aid the House and Senate leaders. Holy pictures can be very important in tight races.
Meanwhile, the Dems are doing their very best, or worst depending upon your choice, to brand the passed bill as terrible for the country, for the people etc., etc., etc. Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Schumer lost no time in getting in front of the nearest TV camera to begin the bashing and trashing exercises.
There could be some Democrat arm-twisting in the Oval office before this is done. As much as they dislike that, the Dems know the value of seeming to be there for the good of the people vs. for their personal well-being.
We are at least started with this process. It is anyone’s guess as to when and how this gets resolved.