Sarah Kliff

Missing From SOTU: Guidance on How to Pass Health-Care Reform

On the surface, Obama made it clear in his State of the Union address that he wanted Congress to pass health-care reform. He admitted that it's been a politically rocky road, but beseeched legislators to "find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people." This is good—the Democrats would be in a pretty horrible place if Obama had come out against the signature piece of legislation in his freshman year.

Ms. Pelosi, Pass This Bill: A New Rallying Cry for the Senate Bill

After yesterday's panic over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's not having enough votes to pass the Senate version of health-care reform, there's a new narrative picking up a lot of steam today: Pelosi needs to get her caucus in order, follow the original White House recommendation, and pass the Senate version of the bill through the chamber.So, how exactly did we get from "Pelosi doesn't have the votes" to "Pelosi needs to get the votes" in a mere 24 hours?

The Democrats Versus the Filibuster: Time to Man Up

Want to really spook a senator? Just whisper the word filibuster. Lieberman is doing it over anything remotely resembling a public option, Nelson has a similar take on abortion language, and even Roland Burris is trying the filibuster threat on for size, albeit in an opposite direction.But here's a really scary proposition: what if President Obama and Majority Leader Harry Reid throw up their hands and say, "OK, fine, go for the filibuster"?

Joe Lieberman Wants a Pony

Earlier this week we poked some fun at the extraordinary demands we may soon expect from health-care holdout Joe Lieberman, including a provision not to cover Americans born in a month without an "r." Turns out the independent senator from Connecticut has stepped up his demands, and no one is more frustrated than the folks at left-leaning, which has turned its irritation into creativity.

The Senate Abortion Debate, Did Not Matter: An Update

As predicted, the Nelson amendment on abortion failed to pass the Senate today, tabled with a vote of 54-45. Probably the most interesting votes were those of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, who both voted to table Nelson's abortion restrictions.In my post earlier this morning, explaining why this debate did not matter, I got a little bit ahead of myself (and of congressional proceedings), when I put the critical juncture in this debate in conference committee.