Senator Carper (D-DE) has put a hold on Senator Dorgan’s (D-ND) drug re-importation amendment, who in turn, has objected to the Senate moving on any other health care amendments, until his pending drug re-importation amendment is voted on.
Got that? It’s a Dem on Dem cage match.
The Republicans, meanwhile, offered to stay in over the weekend and are now wishing they had not.
NOTE TO SENATOR MCCONNELL: If Senator Reid ever wants to let the Senators go home for the weekend before the cloture vote on the ObamaCare bill, agree (please).
Ultimately there will be a cloture vote on the Dorgan amendment, and this is where it gets very interesting.
No one knows where Senators are going to be on the vote.
If the yes votes exceed 51, which by all accounts they will, then the amendment cannot be tabled.
If the yes votes do not exceed 60 votes, then cloture is not agreed to. Then the amendment just sits there, burning time on the Senate floor, blocking any other action.
If the yes votes exceed 60 votes, then the bill is amended -- and PhRma, the drug industry trade group freaks out, and the deal that they made with the White House to stop re-importation is in shreds. What PhRma does then is an open question. How can they pull the provision out of the bill? Or, do they oppose the bill and spend their millions to kill it? In general, it is grinding and nashing of teeth time for PhRma if Senator Dorgan gets more than 60 votes.
Given the tens of millions in ads that the drug industry has spent in support of the ObamaCare and it’s donations to the White House political arm — how do you think the Republicans are going to vote?
Do you think the Republicans are angry?