It was pretty blindingly obvious that the Republican bluster about how the party planned to fight reconciliation tooth and nail, how it could strip out much or all of the language and bring the bill down, was bluster. Senate Republicans had every incentive to say this before the House voted on the Senate health care bill, when they could exploit the House's fear of the process and the Senate to spook them into voting down the bill.
But now that health care reform is the law of the land, and the GOP has much less incentive to oppose the tweaks in the reconciliation bill, the Senate Republicans' tone has changed just a wee bit:
Republicans are unlikely to force major changes to the measure making final tweaks to healthcare legislation, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Monday night.
Inhofe said the GOP would have a difficult time forcing changes to the healthcare reconciliation bill the Senate is expected to take up this week, despite others in the party professing confidence.
"No," Coburn said during an appearance on CNBC when asked if the GOP would be able to stop many elements of the reconciliation bill. "We'll put a few holes in it, but basically it's going to come through here because they've done a good job crafting it." ...
"We're going to have a difficult time making changes to that reconciliation bill," conceded Coburn, a senator who has been known at times for his ability to use legislative procedure to stymie Democrats.