But some House Democrats appeared to be recognizing that efforts to change the bill could just delay an inevitable vote on the Senate language. One senior Democratic aide predicted that even if the House did adopt changes, the Senate would just send back its original version of the measure, leaving the House with little choice but to pass it.
“I think everybody knows what the endgame is,” the senior aide said. “It’s no secret. Inevitably, we will pass the clean Senate package. It’s just if it is this week or next week.”
Given that reality, the aide predicted that the House could pass the Senate language unchanged in the first go-round.
“Once Members think about that and look at the calendar, the odds increase greatly that they will defeat any amendments,” the aide said.
McConnell was more blunt, warning that the agreement on the table is the only train leaving this year. “This agreement is not subject to being reopened,” he said.
“I hope that our friends in the House will understand that that’s the best way to go forward — simply pass the Senate bill, get it down to a president who supports the understanding,” he added.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.