Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) acknowledged Tuesday that the Senate might be forced to make some changes to the health care reconciliation bill.
But Baucus cautioned that there are only one or two provisions that Democrats feel could be subject to a Republican point of order and that they are minor.
We think were pretty much in the clear all the way around, Baucus said. Theres one or two that might have to be changed ... in the whole scheme of things, theyre not going to defeat the bill. Theyre not poison pills; theyre not game-changers. Theyre minor, and we can deal with minor changes.
Still, he reiterated that Senate Democrats goal is to pass the reconciliation measure of fixes to the Senate-passed bill as is no changes. The Senate Parliamentarian has yet to rule on most of the provisions Republicans claim that the reconciliation bill violates.
Baucus declined to identify the provisions he believes might be susceptible to GOP points of order. If the Parliamentarian rules that Republicans have lodged a valid budget point of order against any particular provision, that provision would likely be stricken from the bill. Though reconciliation bills cannot be filibustered, the 59-member Senate Democratic Conference would need 60 votes to waive budget points of order.
Baucus said House leaders are aware that there are some provisions that have a 50-50 chance of being stricken, and he predicted the House would be able to quickly pass the changed bill if the Senate were unable to prevent a section from being eliminated.
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.