Reporting By Chad Pergram-Capitol Hill
Here is the latest on the state of play on the omnibus spending bill and the health care bill.
The omnibus seems to be moving. Some conservatives have issues with it. Republicans will need help from Democrats to approve the bill. It’s unclear if the GOP will be able to score a “majority of the majority (the so-called and ill-named “Hastert Rule”). Regardless, that bill goes the House Rules Committee tomorrow and to the floor Wednesday in the House. The Senate will handle the bill to fund the government either later in the day Wednesday or Thursday, ahead of the 11:59:59 pm et Friday funding deadline.
As such, the House appears to be reserving Thursday as the day to handle the health care measure on the floor..if they can.
One source said they were “confident” there would be a vote Thursday. But the same source said they were “not as confident” the bill would pass.
Fox is told they are getting closer. But they are still short. One senior House Republican source expressed concern about the White House predicting when the House may vote…but was even more exasperated by word from the White House that they were five to six votes short.
“You don’t announce a whip count. You just don’t,” said the source.
The whip tally on any major issue is an extremely closely held figure…often just between the whip and a couple of key staffers or other members. Several sources on Capitol Hill openly contested that the vote tally was truly that close. Of the White House, one Republican source said “They just don’t know.”
Moreover, Republicans leadership sources point out that they need more than just one vote to win. They need several. That’s because they don’t want anyone to be able to point to a given member as casting the deciding vote on health care. Moreover, you always need a cushion, and a handful of “in case of emergency, break glass” votes to bail out the leadership should a vote begin to go…