Obama has persuaded the Senate leadership to put health care reform into the budget resolution, which makes it possible to force a bill through under budget reconciliation. That, in turn, means that it takes 50 Sentors plus the Vice President to pass a bill, rather than 60.
If the Republicans want to compromise on health care, the door is open. If they want to obstruct, they won’t be able to. Seems right to me. As to the Republican threat to throw a temper tantrum and tie up the Senate procedurally, I say: Bring it on.
Update Student loans, too. Apparently the President made this explicit in a meeting with Republican leaders on Capitol Hill: after they reacted to his concessions on the stimulus bill by providing exactly zero votes, he’s not inclined to make any more one-way gestures. Good!