(CNN) – Two Democratic senators said Sunday that they would prefer not to see their party use “reconciliation,” a procedural maneuver in the Senate designed for budgetary legislation which only requires 50 votes for a bill to pass, in order to get a health care reform bill passed without the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster.
“I would like to see us at 60. I would like to see some bipartisan support for this bill,” Minnesota Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar said on CNN’s State of the Union.
“I do think that it is a possibility,” Klobuchar said of the prospect of winning Republican support in the Senate for health care reform.
“The problem with going down to 50 is we just have more limited tools in terms of getting the kind of work that needs to get done to help people.”
Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat from Nebraska, suggested using reconciliation to pass a health care reform bill with a simple majority might stoke some of the fear and unease seen at some town hall meetings across the country during the congressional August recess.
“The people in Nebraska are already concerned that we’ve been rushing things through,” Nelson told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “and if we went to some sort of parliamentary shortcut, I think they would be even more alarmed than they are right now. That’s what I heard during the town hall meetings.”
After suggesting that Democrats should craft a bill that would get at least 60 votes in the Senate, Nelson also suggested Sunday that the ambitious plans for health care reform favored by some – especially more liberal members of his own party – should be scaled back in favor of a more piecemeal approach.
“I’ve thought all along that we need to do it in a more incremental fashion,” Nelson also told King.
“There are a number of things to bend the cost curve,” Nelson said after cataloging a number of reforms he favored short of a complete overhaul of the country’s health care system, “wellness programs would be a part of that – as well as improving the quality of care as moving away from the quantity of care. These are things that can be done.”
Nelson’s sentiments echoed comments by Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, formerly a Democrat turned independent, two weeks ago on State of the Union.
“Great changes in our country often have come in steps,” Lieberman said.
“There’s no reason we have to do it all now,” Lieberman said about the desire of some Democrats to extend coverage to the tens of millions who currently lack health insurance, “but I do think we have to get started.”