Harry Reid's abortion poison pill - it says here...

The Hillstory is that Reid is planning to move on his bill (S 20, the Prevention First Act) designed (among other things) to stop health insurers refusing to pay for contraceptive drugs and devices if their policies cover other sorts of drugs and devices.

It's trumpeted as a wedge issue: Senate Dems can agree on contraceptives, while GOP can't.

This is a Reid - I was going to say initiative but that seems a term altogether too redolent of proactive with pep for the old boy:

When asked whether he would be able to get a vote on his bill soon, Reid said: "I hope so. I'll do what I can."

He added that bringing the issue to the floor is "on my mind."

Is that low-key response a tiger feigning sleep but ready to pounce, or a sign of trepidation - or pure bone idleness?

Dunno.

His first problem: getting the bill out of committee (where, as the number suggests, it's been languishing from virtually the start of the 109th).

I don't think he can. His best bet is probably to get a Dem to introduce more or less the same bill, keep it out of committee (by objecting) and put on the Calendar - then (this is the tough bit) throwing over decades (centuries?) of Senate tradition by making the motion to proceed (the prerogative of the Majority Leader by convention though not by rule).

Looked at this way, Reid's cunning plan is not a challenge to the GOP; it's a challenge to himself!

Of course, if the GOP could be arsed, they could report out the bill, put forward a killer amendment (a restriction on abortion, say) and invite Reid either to find enough senators to defeat the GOP's cloture motion on the amendment, or to vote down his own bill.

And - what if the motion to proceed gambit succeeds - and Reid finds himself Majority Leader in January?

GOPs will be lining up to make motions to proceed!

Tags: abortion, Contraception, Democrats, Harry Reid, Republicans, Senate (all tags)

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