This story, reported several places today (here by Politico) will undoubtedly go almost unnoticed by the bulk of the mainstream media:
"Senate Republicans caused a major stir Thursday when they told reporters that the parliamentarian had informed them that the Senate bill needed to be signed into law before lawmakers took up a sidecar bill to fix it.
...the accounts aren’t accurate and misconstrue what the Senate parliamentarians have said. That is that reconciliation must amend law but this could be done without the Senate bill being enacted first. “It is wholly possible to create law and qualify law before the law is on the books,” said one person familiar with situation."
To understand this, you must know that the Senate parliamentarian is forbidden from talking in public about his rulings.
When I saw the initial story about this, my first response was, of course, that the Republicans were lying as usual. I'm so glad to find that my suspicions were correct: you can never trust a Republican to act decently.
This is a sign, by the way, that they are in a state of real desperation now; what did they think they could accomplish by this maneuver except to con a few more people into thinking the Democrats are acting improperly when they pass the health care bill?