Senate Democrats are "slow-walking" a request from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for a bipartisan meeting with the Senate Parliamentarian to discuss whether the House Obamacare reconciliation bill would survive a GOP point of order questioning its legality.
“Republicans have been trying to set up a meeting with Senate Democrats since yesterday to discuss this fatal point of order but have been met with nothing but silence. We suspect Democrats are slow walking us so as to have the House vote first," said McConnell spokesman Don Stewart.
"Since Senate Democrats refuse to meet with us and the Parliamentarian, we’ve informed our colleagues in the House that we believe the bill they’re now considering violates the clear language of Section 310g of the Congressional Budget Act, and the entire reconciliation bill is subject to a point of order and rejection in the Senate should it pass the House,” Stewart added.
The possibility that a successful Senate GOP point of order against the reconciliation package - which makes major changes to the Senate version of the President Obama's health care reform measure - could jeopardize the whole process and possibly force the issue into the federal courts in order to avoid a constitutional crisis.
Here's the text of the section of the budget act Stewart referred to in his statement:
“LIMITATION ON CHANGES TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any reconciliation bill or reconciliation resolution reported pursuant to a concurrent resolution on the budget agreed to under section 301 or 304, or a joint resolution pursuant to section 258C of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, or any amendment thereto or conference report thereon, that contains recommendations with respect to the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program established under title II of the Social Security Act.” (Congressional Budget Act Of 1974, Sec. 310g, P. 31)
For more information on this issue, go here.