April 2nd, 2009
10:17 AM ET
12 years ago

Fast-track budget tool would kill bipartisanship, GOP says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/02/budget.bipartisanship/art.capitol2.cnn.jpg caption="The "reconciliation" tactic would help President Obama move swiftly on his agenda but at a cost, an analyst says."](CNN) - A congressional tactic described as a "freight train" to run over the minority party could derail any hopes of bipartisanship with the Obama administration, some Republicans warn.

"Reconciliation" is a procedure that could put some of President Obama's major initiatives, such as overhauling health care, on the fast track to becoming law if lawmakers adopt it in their budget resolution.

The process would allow senators to cut off debate on some legislation with 51 votes - a simple majority - instead of the 60 usually required.

Senate Republicans said they worry the process effectively could silence any voice they have in negotiations since Democrats would not need their votes to move ahead with Obama's agenda. (The Democrats have 58 votes, including two independents, and Republicans have 41.)

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