Byron York: McConnell Didn’t Surrender

Dan Riehl
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Writing at The Examiner, Byron York lists the concessions McConnell is said to have gotten for moving the health care vote up several hours. It’s a surprisingly long list. Of course, it is coming from the Republicans, who want to put a good face on the deal. But in this day and age, it is easily checked. I imagine it will be, as it should. RedState might have a look.

I had no objections, by the way. America won’t be watching no matter what on Christmas Eve. Only we political junkies without real, or perhaps with surreal, lives will. ha!

But according to a well placed GOP Senate source, it was Majority Leader Harry Reid who approached McConnell in hopes of holding the vote earlier, and McConnell, who was prepared to go ahead with the evening vote, got some key concessions from Reid in return for agreeing to move the vote up a few hours.

There’s no doubt that McConnell, with just 40 Republican votes, holds the weak hand in negotiating with Reid. But according to the source, in exchange for agreeing to hold the vote on Christmas Eve morning instead of evening, McConnell got Reid to agree to hold a high-profile debt-limit vote next month — just before the president’s State of the Union address — instead of burying the issue later, as Democrats had wanted. In addition, McConnell got Reid to agree to showcase a number of deficit-related Republican amendments, forcing Democrats to vote on issues they had hoped to avoid.

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