February 26th, 2010
05:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Kaine: Reconciliation is 'up and down vote'

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine made his case Friday for using a budget maneuver known reconciliation to pass health care reform.
DNC Chairman Tim Kaine made his case Friday for using a budget maneuver known reconciliation to pass health care reform.

Washington (CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine on Friday made his case for the Senate maneuver known as reconciliation, calling it an "up and down vote."

"The reconciliation process is every bit as much a part of Senate rules as the filbuster is, for example," Kaine said on CNN's "The Situation Room." "And it has been used repeatedly in the last 30 years, mostly by Republicans, but often on health care matters."

Kaine said the reconciliation process, which would allow Democrats to pass a bill with a simple 51-vote majority, has previously been used to pass health care legislation like the State Children's Health Insurance Program and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, better known as COBRA.

He also rejected claims that using the tactic would amount to "ramming" a health care bill through the Senate. Reconciliation, Kaine said, would be used to pass a second bill with "financing adjustments."

"The bill has passed the Senate already with 60 votes, so it wasnt rammed through," Kaine said. "In fact it's been played out in slow motion for months, as you know."

Kaine's GOP counterpart, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, appeared on CNN minutes later and said Democrats would pay a serious political price if they move forward with the procedure.

"If they go down this road with reconciliation, then come November there will be whole new set of lawmakers in the land coming to Washington, because the people will speak very loud and clear, and then we will begin to undo the damage that has been put in place by Obamacare," Steele said.

Steele also ridiculed Thursday's bipartisan health care summit, calling it "a death panel for Obamacare."


Filed under: Health care • Michael Steele • Tim Kaine
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Whatever?

    But lets see, did Sir Harry Ried not sit there Thursday and say they would NOT use this to pass health care. He called it a lie by Republicans>

    So, who is lieing?

    February 26, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Jake

    Chicago Obamie/the dumocraps/and the following sheep-you are totally useless and provide NOTHING to society-come Nov. you are history.Get your socialist agenda and go home.You sheep follow the mezziah on to the slaughter house.

    February 26, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. New Age Independent

    Liberal democrats couldn't even get all of their party to buy into their version of health care reform, so they will resort to any means to control it. Even by using this process, which was never intended for something so impacting. Democrats have lost their mind if they believe the American people support this lunacy.

    February 26, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. PacificView

    The senate structure already gives too much power to the sparsely populated states. Then to allow them to claim a 60% senate majority is needed to pass a bill, means a very small minority of voter interests is really running the show. 50 + 1 is plenty fair.

    February 26, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  5. Roger

    Obama is willing to push his fellow congressional delegates under the bus so he can claim his first step towards a Socialistic State. The audasity to completely ignore the Will of the People will further divide this Nation. Congressional Democats: Pelosi, Reid and the King are leading you to oblivion.

    February 26, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. Jenn, Philadelphia

    And when done by the republicans, democrats denounced reconciliation as being wrong. Now their argument is "they did it first". This is just another example of the childishness infecting Washington DC. It's either wrong or right, no in between. I thought President Obama was going to change the way Washington worked.

    February 26, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  7. Targar

    Forget Steele he's uncle TOM

    February 26, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. Albert R. K. . L.A., CA

    A "reconciliation vote" is a "majority rules" vote which is more honest than the filbuster because it stops those nasty nine extra mini-presidents from stroking a veto pen unless they get the pork they want.

    February 26, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. karl

    The mere fact of considering reconciliation clearly evidences a failure (and not just to communicate) and an arrogance to think that the few people who are trying to make this happen know so much more about the "will of the people" than the people do...

    Last ditch attempts. That's not bipartisanship. That's not even good politics. Heck that's not even change...

    February 26, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. TCM

    WARNING TO ALL LIBERAL DEMOCRATS....that will vote for this bill, in favor of Obama...you're committing political suicide if you do not listen to the 70% + of the TRUE American public that DO NOT want this plan....or anything else Obama's trying to scam by....wise up...

    February 26, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. Fran

    Vote now, pay later.

    February 26, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Rickard

    This jerk "Steele" blows a lot of hot air....Will he never shut down ?

    February 26, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. Bob Ramos

    Everything says or does is political in nature and criticizes the Democrats. As RNC Chairman that is his job.

    Democrats should stop messing around and just pass the health care bill. If Reconciliation is the way to go then so be it.

    One thing I have not really heard from either party of the CBO. Everyonesays that the bill would cost us around $900 billion over 10 years. My question is what will it cost us if we do not pass it? What is the net effect in dollars?

    February 26, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I wish people in this country would quit listening to crazy FOX Noise "Republican" talking points. This parlimentary procedure has been used 21 times to pass important legislation. All the Republicans do is take something and turn it into something scary that is totally WRONG. People in this country had better wake up to what it going on here. If the insurance industry wins on this one, the premiums will skyrocket because they will be impowered and know that their is no one to stop them. What a sad day for America that would be.

    STAND STRONG DEMOCRATS, WE NEED YOU TO HELP US SURVIVE! LITERALLY.

    February 26, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. Healthcare garbage bill

    Today's democrats are the most corrupt politicians ever. The healthcare bill is garbage and is opposed by over 60% of Americans (supported by only 30%).

    85% of Americans are happy with their healthcare. Those that can't afford insurance just need to fill out papers and the government helps them out. There are 9M people that make over $50K that are included in the 'uninsured' category.

    If they pass this garbage, democrats will lose big.

    February 26, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. S Callahan

    I OPPOSE.

    this is a manipulation of the consitution ..going on for the last 30 years or so....you know what is said about the 40 year mark. Don't do it!

    February 26, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. The Lady

    Do what you got to do, the republicans don't want to compromise.

    February 26, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. SC-Pub "no" more

    Shut up about it and do it! I am tired of your whipped posturing... do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 26, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Cindy

    It's only called "ramming" when it's done by the Democrats.

    When done by Republicans, it's called "business as usual"

    Comeon... it's a legitimate procedure. Use it or lose it.

    February 26, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  20. ED FL

    The one who should be worried and out of a job is Steele. He has been a complete flop in a job that was given to him like affirmative action to pose as an afro-american to oppose the new Afro- American president. Micael the bill has already passed the Senate with 60 votes, case over,the current job is to resolve differences on a bill which has been passed. Live with it. In addition your party is holding up unemployment money from needy Americans ,hopefull you will be on that list yourself soon.

    February 26, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  21. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I vote against most incumbents, but anyone who supports passing this behemoth bill by reconciliation is most definitely out.

    February 26, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. Cayce

    Still waiting MORON,you do not have the votes and you do not have a large enough set of testicles to go up againist the GOP.I dare you to do it.MAKE MY DAY.Kaine is another bag of hot air with NO show,just like the dems,all show and NO go,just bags of hot air.

    February 26, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. GOP

    Still waiting Kaine,what is holding you up,come on and do it,reconciliation,just more Democratic hot air/smoke/spin/and lies.You idiots could not run a kool-aid stand in the desert with an owners manual.

    February 26, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  24. Jay

    The GOP has put forward ONE alternative plan to addresss health care, and per the CBO, it did not come close to reducing the number of Americans with out health insurance. Since that proposal, the GOP has come up with no other formal plans. Instead of policy, the GOP is focused on attack. Every day these bills sit gives the GOP talking heads a chance to vilanize the plan and the democratic party in general. Dems should've passed this back in August when they wanted to instead of listening to the Republicans and waiting. Because of that waiting, the dems have allowed themselves to become a target. If the GOP isn't willing to negotiate and go with the majority party on at least a few issues, the Dems should go to reconciliation and get out of defensive mode. If the Dems don't pass health care reform, don't think for a second the GOP is going to hold off in November. They'll still be gunning for seats. Darned if you do, darned if you don't. Assuming the dems believe in the current bill, they might as well pass it and get something done.

    February 26, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  25. Mike

    I constantly hear republicans imply that they speak for the american people, but they forget that a majority voted the president in office. All said, the dems should move forward with their plan since the repubs will not cooperate. As far as Michael Steele is concerned, he is an irelevant blow hard.

    February 26, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
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