Posted by | March 12, 2010 10:48 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Thomas Wellborn

In spite of Republican backlash to using reconciliation as a means to get health care reform done, President Obama and House Democrats have finally had enough: Reconciliation on Health Care Reform is to start Monday, according to Politico.  There is no good reason why reform shouldn’t be passed by a majority vote, as has been stated in the past by Republicans:

  • “If you’ve got 51 votes for your position, you win.” — Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), 3/15/05
  • “For some time, I hoped that my colleagues who oppose reform would allow a majority in both bodies to prevail and do what the vast majority of the American public desires.” — Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), 10/15/99
  • “Filibusters are neither an idea of the founding fathers nor a historical tradition of the Senate.” — Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), 4/27/05
  • “It [the filibuster] is the product of a rule of the Senate passed many years after the ratification of the Constitution. This rule does not derive from the authority of the Constitution.” — Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), 5/19/05

I want to make clear that “Reconciliation” and “The Nuclear Option” are different by definition.  Where reconciliation is a legislative tactic whereby a bill is approved through majority vote, the Nuclear Option allows the United States Senate to reinterpret a procedural rule by invoking the constitutional requirement that the will of the majority be effective.  Although arguments have been made from the right claiming Reconciliation is only to be used when passing bills pertaining to budgetary issues, 34 Republican Senators have used it to vote for major domestic policy legislation over the past 20 years.

Let’s get health care done.  There is no good reason not to proceed.

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