February 24th, 2010
07:19 AM ET
13 years ago

Democrats could bypass GOP on health care bill


Washington (CNN) - As a major White House meeting on health care reform approaches this week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged Tuesday that he may use a controversial parliamentary shortcut to bypass GOP opposition and pass a bill.

The fast-track approach, known as reconciliation, would allow Democrats to pass the bill with just 51 votes, not the 60 usually required to overcome a filibuster.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Democrats are being "arrogant" because the American people don't want a giant health care overhaul, but Democrats still plan to "use any parliamentary device to jam it through a reluctant Congress."

"It's hard for us to quite understand why, with reconciliation being planned, we're having a meeting which is allegedly designed to engender some bipartisan agreement," said the No. 2 Senate Republican, Jon Kyl of Arizona.

Reid bluntly warned Republicans to "stop crying" about the shortcut because Republicans have used the same procedure many times in the past, he said.

"They should stop crying about reconciliation as if it's never been done before. It's done almost every Congress, and they're the ones that used it more than anyone else," he said.

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Filed under: Harry Reid • Health care • Jon Kyl
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This isn't the first time that reconsilliation has been done. It won't be the last. There are major changes that need to be done to make sure that more Americans have access to health care and can afford it. That will make them more productive since they will go to the doctor more often to have things checked out (or at least regular check ups to prevent things from creeping up. If they are spending less time away from work and less money in the ER (or more likely our money in the ER), then that will make the country more productive.

    February 24, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  2. Papasan in AZ

    Will you idiots ( REP & DEM ) ever get this done! Do you understand the concept of work, if you do not produce results, you get FIRED!

    February 24, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  3. mark

    The dems would be smart not to bypass the republicans. didn't they their lesson after the recent elections. The public is furious with the dems and Obama.

    February 24, 2010 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  4. howie

    I think they should use recincillation and pass the bill, then the public will know who to blame when the system collaspes. The democrats will pay dearly at the polls. They simply don't get it when the americans say they don't want this monster.

    February 24, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  5. deb0155

    This whole White House meeting on health care reform is nothing but a "dog and pony" show. The Democrats already know that they will use reconciliation even though 70% of the American people do not want this bill. Health care reform is needed – but not this way! Economists have now estimated that the bill will be over $2 trillion dollars! And as far as Harry Reid is concerned – he doesn't care because he knows he's out of Washington come November! So he will sell his fellow Democrats down the river in order to jam this bill down our throats!

    Whatever happened to real leadership in this country? You can bet our forefathers are spinning in their graves with our so called "leaders" in Washington.

    February 24, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  6. Harry.......

    you'll be the one crying in November.....start packing "loser".

    February 24, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  7. Dave

    It's about time. All the Republicans have done in this process is whine and cry while not offering any viable alternatives. They never intended to negotiate in good faith and they only care about bipartisanship when they are not getting their way, so why should Obama and the Democrats cave to their wishes? Ram it right down the GOP's throat. I couldn't care less about what these whining teabaggers think.

    Obama ran on reforming the health care system and the last time I checked, he won and the GOP lost. Of course the Republicans will scream from the rooftops about this. They should be reminded that they have used reconciliation many times in the past when it suited them and they never cared about bipartisanship. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Now stop crying like a bunch of sore losers.

    February 24, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  8. JLM

    When one party is moving and the other party is standing still, they have no choice but to go around.

    February 24, 2010 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  9. PJ

    Sure it's been done before, but on something that will affect our healthcare and economy so profoundly?! As I said in another post on the ticker, Obama, Redi, and Pelosi throw out the word "bipartisan" and even invite GOP lawmakers to a "summit" or whatever they call it. Bottom line is that they don't give a rat's rear end about what the GOP thinks is right or wrong. They are going to ram something through!

    February 24, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  10. Rob Johnson

    While two wrongs don't make a right, Reid has a point.

    During the Bush years, seems like 50 votes in the Senate and Dick Cheney's trusty tiebreaker vote won plenty of issues for the GOP.

    In every government, in every country since the beginning of time, one of the benefits of being the "party in power" is that you can use arcane rules like reconciliation that simply aren't available to the other side.

    Hardball politics? Sure, but this is important stuff.

    February 24, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  11. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    Might as well, you will not get any support from the lying conservatives.

    February 24, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  12. seebofubar

    Not smart, it would be litting their own throats. But then again, when was the last time you've seen a democrat with any intelligence, it's been a while.

    February 24, 2010 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  13. Florida Joe

    The Repubs used reconciliation to jam through the Bush Tax Cuts for the super wealthy while the rest of the public settled for a $600 check. These Repubs should indeed "stop crying" and try to come up with some original ideas. All they do is present the same old ideas of Torte reform and buying across state lines which are not bad ideas but YOU HAD THE SAME IDEAS WHILE YOU WERE IN POWER, WHY DIDN'T YOU DO IT THEN??????????

    February 24, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  14. Red state gone blue voter

    Go for it. The public is mad about the wrangling, not the specifics of the bill. Once it's passed and people educate themselves more about what's actually IN it, everything will calm down. Medicare went through much worse. Do something NOW.

    February 24, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |