House liberals want to tie on Senate health bill to vote on fixes

House liberals want to tie a series of fixes to the Senate healthcare bill to a vote for the actual bill, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) suggested Monday.

Weiner, an informal leader of a bloc of House Democrats who have demanded changes to the Senate bill in exchange for the House passing it, said many Democrats want to tie the votes together out of a fear that the Senate may renege on passing a separate measure making changes to its original bill.

"We're not just going to go ahead and hope for a package of improvements, we're going to have to have something pretty much in hand, and there are many of us who are saying we want a vote on both things at once," Weiner said Monday during an appearance on Fox News Radio.

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Weiner pointed to the nearly 300 bills that have been passed by the House this year but have stalled in the Senate, arguing that House Democrats aren't necessarily sold that the Senate would follow through.

"The overarching problem that we have is that we just don't trust the Senate," he said. "They just haven't done all that much during this term."

According to plans under consideration, the House would pass the Senate bill as long as the Senate agrees to take up a bill under budget reconciliation rules to make fixes to its original bill. By using that process, the Senate could approve changes with a simple majority instead of the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster.

Weiner said, though, that those concerns could be ameliorated if a deal is worked out to House Democrats' satisfaction.

"That's a procedural problem that fades to some degree if the substance that is worked out between the House and the Senate and the White House is satisfactory," he said.

He also said that the votes aren't there to pass healthcare in the House right now, but that the tally was a function of the final legislation not having been presented more than anything else.

"I think right now, if the vote were held, it probably would not pass. We're kind of a little bit burdened by the idea that there is not an actual document," he said. "So it's kind of hard to rally the votes without a specific bill."