The more immediate fight will be health care, where the budget gives President Obama an invaluable backstop if Republicans attempt to stall this initiative past October 15th. Democrats are still hopeful that a bipartisan deal can be reached prior to that. But if a bipartisan agreement fails, then the budget would trigger a process allowing the Senate to consider the issue on an expedited basis in which Democrats would no longer need 60 votes to cut off debate.
Most details have been decided, but negotiators were still working to assuage the concerns of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative House Democrats who want the Senate to commit to advancing a bill this year that would put into law the pay-as-you-go rule, which requires tax cuts and new mandatory spending yto be offset with tax increases or budget cuts elsewhere in the budget.
The most controversial provision in the agreement is a fast track procedure called reconciliation. It would allow Democrats to pass an overhaul of the nation’s health care system and student aid legislation with a simple majority in the Senate. The Senate Budget Committee’s ranking Republican , Judd Gregg of New Hampshire blasted Obama for supporting reconciliation.
Source: Campaign for America’s Future, April 28, 2009