Republicans scored a major victory this morning when they found two minor drafting errors in health care reconciliation sidecar, making passage of the legislation legislation take one day longer than it would've otherwise.
Two incredibly inconsequential clauses of the reconciliation bill were found to be in violation of the Byrd rule, meaning that after a full day and night of totally useless symbolic votes, the Senate was forced to adjourn abruptly at 3 a.m.. While Democrats had been hoping to avoid this scenario, the House will now have to take a routine vote on the updated bill before the President can sign it into law.
A GOP aide proudly announced to Roll Call that the entire episode was a deliberate waste of everyone's time, and crowed that their attempt to turn the process of governing the nation into an utter farce was a resounding success.
Indeed, a GOP aide acknowledged the changes are largely inconsequential. "The policy doesn't matter," the aide said, explaining that Republicans caught what amount to drafting errors in the bill earlier in the week.
In fact, the aide indicated that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had been confident Frumin would rule in his favor throughout the vote-a-rama and kept the points of order in his back pocket until late in the evening to ensure Democrats made tough political votes.
The Senate is now expected to pass this bill this afternoon, and the House will pass it again this evening, in what is expected to be a major coup for the 2008 presidential campaign of Senator John McCain.