The game of chicken commenceth -- right now.
In the course of unveiling Obama's new health reform proposal on a conference call with reporters this morning, White House advisers made it clearer than ever before: If the GOP filibusters health reform, Dems will move forward on their own and pass it via reconciliation.
The assertion, which is likely to spark an angry response from GOP leaders, ups the stakes in advance of the summit by essentially daring Republicans to try to block reform.
"The President expects and believes the American people deserve an up or down vote on health reform," White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said on the call.
Pfeiffer said no decision had been made how to proceed, pending the outcome of the summit. But he added that Obama's proposal is designed to have "maximum flexibility to ensure that we can get an up or down vote if the opposition decides to take the extraordinary step of filibustering health reform."