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

Kaine: Reconciliation is 'up and down vote'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/04/art.kaine1.gi.jpg caption="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. Most Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    Let's see. We are a Democracy. In a Democracy, majority rules. 51% is a majority. Ok. We are done here.

    February 26, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. building7

    if Steele actually thought that the people would then vote a new group of lawmakers in.... wouldn't he want it to happen.... just sayin

    February 26, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. Gerry NH

    If the senate wamt a majority vote then that what they should get. It should be a majority vote by the American people not some life time politician that could care less about the American people.

    February 26, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  4. BeverlyNC


    There is nothing "radical" or controversial" about using the Senate process of Reconciliation. It is simply a majority vote.

    Republicans have abused the filibuster (187 times this Congress) to delay and obstruct all legislation for helping the American People.

    Republicans will whine and lie but they obviously love the Reconciliation process. Of the 22 times it has been used since the 1970s, Republican-controlled Congresses have used it 14 times.
    Most which was Bush!

    February 26, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. ib

    Typical Kaine; failure as gov. of Va. and a failure as DNC chairman. thankfully we have a decent gov. in Va. now and even Deeds would probably have done a better job or anyone else for that matter.

    February 26, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. RCLGuard

    Obama/Kaine 2012. I love Biden but he can't run in 2016, way too old.

    February 26, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  7. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Most Americans have no idea what 'democracy' means. For most of them it means 'rule by the majority, as long as I, or my favorite pundit agrees with that majority.' They think that the real definition 'rule by the majority, no matter by how small margin that majority is' is somehow 'anti-democratic.'

    February 26, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. jp,michigan

    It is amazing! When is the Democratic party going to listen to the will of the American people? They will use any measure , and justify that measure to get Obama's and the co-conspritors what they want. God Help them in November. They too will be in the unemployment lines or maybe lobbist.

    February 26, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  9. Chris - Denver

    Yep, sure is. So quit squacking about it and pass the needed reform already!

    February 26, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  10. b. o. stinks


    Thats all they have tried to do is ram it thru just so they can put a feather in their cap with nooo regard of what the american people say they want

    they have high jacked the country it makes me want to throw up on every one them


    February 26, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. NancyLV

    Yeah you keep telling yourself that Mr. Kaine. How's the change workin for ya?

    February 26, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. Doug

    This is typical of the Obama Administration cast of characters. From defeat in his own Virginia to the Demo NC, we should lose in every state this year, what a great plan. The Washington crowd is out of their minds, they are destroying the country first and then ask for reelection. As a democrat who supported this President, I am so disappointed in these frauds, forget health care and put america back to work.

    February 26, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  13. annie against biased news

    demon-craps lie, lie, lie, cheat, cheat, cheat and steal, steal, steal to make sure they cram down the throats of WE THE PEOPLE everything we have been telling them for a year that WE DO NOT WANT. What part of NO does these imbeciles not understand? The so-called president just simply made fun of all American citizens yesterday. Well, let's see who's laughing come 2012!

    February 26, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. Derek

    I hope the Dems do "Ram" it through, although I do not know how a bill that has be debated for over a year, and received 60 votes in the Senate could be "Rammed" through. Has far as paying a price and letting the people speak, we did speak loud and clear when we gave the Huse, Senate, and the White House to the Dems.

    February 26, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. John in WV

    Tax breaks to the wealthy was passed by reconciliation twice in 2001 and 2003.

    February 26, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. How To Bankrupt the Nation-Put A Dem On It

    Reconciliation takes 2 things to work and that is 1-votes and 2- the testicles to do it – the dems do not have either.

    February 26, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. m smith

    Just Do IT!!!!! We need reform no matter what the party of No and their crazy followers say. In fact they will all benifit . They can get cheap mental health care which they all need.

    February 26, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  18. Joe, Georgia

    Michael Steele and the Republicans simply do not care about this Country or its future. The current health care system is bankrupting individuals and making businesses uncompetitive because it is twice as expensive as any other system in the developed world. Those of us who have insurance or sponsor plans for our employees pay over $250,000,000 per year to subsidize care for the uninsured. That equals over $1000 for every insured person in the nation. The system does not work, it is far to expensive, and individuals, businesses and our government can no longer afford not to take steps to get control of a system that is currently out of control and will bankrupt all of us. The Republicans need to serve us and not their political power ambitions.

    February 26, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  19. Pragmatic

    People are fact checking: in the last 16 times that reconciliation was used – the republican controlled congress used it 14 times: it was used for health care – the CHIPS bill.

    The term "ramming" isn't true when an elected majority vote for something: democracy = majority rules. Steele bringing up the term "death panels" shows how desperate the GOP is, and why do republicans only want "an up or down vote" when they are in the majority!!!!

    February 26, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. How To Tell A Dem Is Lying-Lips Are Moving

    Who does he think he is kidding-the dems do not have the votes or the nerve to buck the GOP.Go ahead MORONS and use reconciliation,I dare you,MAKE MY DAY MORONS and do it.Just a bunch of chicken s*** politicians with alot of mouth and NO action.

    February 26, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Having never thought of Kaine as the brightest Crayon in the box, but he does make a very valid point.

    A simple majority should rule, we are still claiming to be a democracy, right?

    February 26, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. Andy

    Yeah right kaine-the dems are running scared and will not buck the GOP.Alot of big bad talk and like all they do,NO action.Shut up or put up moron dems.Just like their GREAT MEZZIAH ,the chicago thug turned president(what is a community organizer anyway?) all talk and NO action.

    February 26, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  23. Steve (the real one)

    Mr. Kaine,

    Elections are a up and down vote. We look Up the name of the candidate and we pull DOWN the lever. Reconcilliation will make it extremely hard for your party! Just watch and see!

    February 26, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. Candi

    MAKE MY DAY KAINE-please do it,please please then we will be rid of you and the dumocraps in NOV. followed my the GREAT ONE OBAMIE. WELL MORON-WHATS IT GOING TO BE?.

    February 26, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  25. barbra

    I'm sorry, anyway you look at it you are trying to ram this vote through.
    You all keep saying no. But, you are not convincing me one little bit.
    Changing your choice of words don't work for me either. I'll tell you
    what. When it comes to changing words, I'll do the same. Come next
    election time, I'll change from life long Democrat to Republican,and then
    vote. I'm sure there are many others who will do the same.

    February 26, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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