I think this is huge. According to the Huffington Post:
The Senate parliamentarian told Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Wednesday afternoon that her proposal to create a National Insurance Rate Authority runs afoul of reconciliation rules, Feinstein told HuffPost after the conversation.
“I’m crushed it’s out,” she said. But she added that she would bring it up with him one more time to try to make the case that it would be a legitimate use of reconciliation. “I’m going to make one last effort with the parliamentarian,” she said.
The National Insurance Rate Authority is part of a new proposal that would give the federal government control over “excessive” insurance rates. That was Obama’s baby. Courtesy of the parliamentarian, its out.
More importantly, this decision undermines the Democratic leadership regarding reconciliation. House Democrats are already skeptical about their colleagues in the Senate and their intention to act on a reconciliation bill. Now they have more reason to be skeptical. There can be no assurance that the proposed “fixes” will even be permitted by the parliamentarian. That idea has been out there, but this decision drives it home.
For those Dems on the fence, this should cause consternation. Feinstein is “crushed”. Pelosi and Obama should also be crushed. They cannot assure wary House members that the malignant Senate bill will be fixed.
This message must get through to undecided Democrats: reconciliation is a red herring. Much of what is wrong with the Senate bill cannot and will not be fixed.