Democratic congressional leaders are hitting the pause button while they figure out how to press ahead — if at all — with comprehensive health care reform. The most conservative Democratic senators have made it clear they oppose budget reconciliation, but then the whole point of reconciliation is to avoid the votes of conservative Democratic senators.

Speaking of them, Joe Lieberman has easily the worst idea (but then that’s not very surprising). “The White House and Democratic leaders should reach out one more time to Republicans to see if they can find a common ground,” Lieberman is quoted as saying in The New York Times. Because that worked so well the first 36 times.

Perhaps the Democrats should try reaching out one more time to Joe Lieberman to see whether he wants to walk the plank, now that having 60 votes in the Senate is a non-issue. — PZS

The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — With no clear path forward on major health care legislation, Democratic leaders in Congress effectively slammed the brakes on President Obama’s top domestic priority on Tuesday, saying that they no longer felt pressure to move quickly on a health bill after eight months of setting deadlines and missing them.

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, deflected questions about health care. “We’re not on health care now,” he said. “We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.” He added, “There is no rush,” and noted that Congress still had most of this year to work on the health bills passed in 2009 by the Senate and the House.

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