Republican aides, reporting the decision, interpreted it to mean the House would have to clear the Senate bill and President Obama would have to sign it before the reconciliation bill could be passed. House leaders had been hoping that the two bills could be passed almost simultaneously.
The parliamentarian, however, later reportedly clarified his position to Senate aides, saying that the reconciliation bill could be written in a way that would not require Obama to sign the Senate bill into law before the reconciliation bill is voted on.
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[A]ccording to reporting by POLITICO’s David Rogers, the accounts aren’t accurate and misconstrue what the Senate parliamentarians have said. That is that reconciliation must amend law but this could be done without the Senate bill being enacted first. “It is wholly possible to create law and qualify law before the law is on the books,” said one person familiar with situation.
For example, if the big bill itself amends some Social Security statute, reconciliation could be written to do the same --with changes sought by the House. Then if reconciliation is passed and signed by President Barack Obama after he signs the larger bill, the changes made in reconciliation would prevail.
This jives with what Pulse sources were saying soon after the first wave of stories hit – in essence, don’t take the reported parliamentarian’s declaration to the bank.