March 4th, 2010
09:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Bachmann, Grayson square off on health care

(CNN) - Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, and Alan Grayson, D-Florida, engaged in a spirited debate on health care reform Wednesday night on CNN's Larry King Live.

Specifically, the two squared off over whether the tactic of reconciliation - requiring only a simple majority to pass the measure - should be used.

"That's not how the Senate works," Bachmann said. "The Senate works with 60 votes, and now what the president is promoting is a nuclear option which is 50 votes."

Grayson replied: "There's nothing in the Senate rules that prevents reconciliation. It's been used 22 times overall and 14 times by Republicans. If it's good enough to provide tax cuts for the rich - twice under Bush - it's good enough to provide health care for all Americans."

Filed under: Alan Grayson • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If the Republicans had been truly involved in the process over the course of the bill writing, then they would be more willing to help. Unfortunately, the Republicans don't want to do anything to change the system or help people along.

    Grayson has a point. The Republicans never bothered to pay for anything and wanted to ram things through. I say that we give them a taste of what they have done and help people at the same time.

    March 4, 2010 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  2. Nadeem

    Michelle, seemed a bit crazy during this piece.

    March 4, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  3. Gary

    If you work you are 50 times more likely to have health insurance...we don't have a healthcare crisis, we have a work crisis. High school and college kids don't work part time jobs anymore. People get one little injury then think that they are disabled. We have literally generations of welfare families who don't think that they have to work. People want to retire at 65 but then live to 90....the numbers don't add up. You get 50 million more adult americans into the workforce and there will be no healthcare problem!!! That will also raise our GDP so that our healthcare costs as a percent of GDP will improve. We have to stop taking money from hard working Americans to give free stuff (housing, food, healthcare) to lazy Americans. I work 60 hours per week and I am more than willing to help someone with healthcare if they are working 45 to 50 hours per week and still cannot afford healthcare. I wish both parties would start this dialogue.

    March 4, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    I saw this on TV. She looks like a robot with the wide-eyed, empty headed gaze. A true Stepford Republican all the way

    March 4, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  5. Richard

    grayson rocks!!!! keep up the good work.

    March 4, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  6. Sniffit

    Grayson 1, Bachman 0

    that is Grayson won, Bachman's a nothing

    March 4, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. John

    I do wish at least we could get one fact straight. Reconciliation is not the nuclear option. The nuclear option was a parlimentary option proposed by the Republicans to eliminate the filibuster rule in the senate. Reconciliation and the nuclear option are not remotely related.

    March 4, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. cathie

    We need more "folks" like Grayson in Congress.

    March 4, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  9. Sarge in Florida

    I wish someone who stick an apple in her mouth..What a HYPOCRITE.

    March 4, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. Slider

    Notwithstanding the fact that the Rep. from FL has used his mouth to render anything he says as useless, he obviously is missing two major points:

    Each time the Republicans used reconcilliation there was bipartisan support; and second, none of the Republican-led measures forced Americans into contracts as this so-called healthcare proposal, which is unconstitutional.

    Did you get that, Grayson, or did you stop flappin' your gums long enough to comprehend?

    March 4, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. Ferret out the BS

    Since its a rule that's been in force for some time, perhaps from the begiining then it's there to be used. Who cares if the Repubs don't like it, they put them selves in a disadvantaged position.

    March 4, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  12. Kevin

    I'm from Minnesota and everyone out there should know that Michele Bachmann is nuts. I'm not trying to be funny, she is an unstable person and I'm truly sorry to all americans that the people of MN put her in a position of power.

    Please do not think she represents the majority here.

    March 4, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  13. Duck Fallas

    Grayson made her look like the idiot she it.

    Retarded right wing filth align themselves with that vacuous twit, reinforcing the notion that paranoid, uneducated lunatics have a powerful voice in America.

    March 4, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  14. Tram

    Why does anyone listen to Bachmann? She's a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

    March 4, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  15. perryrants

    the only thng wrong with american politics, as evidenced by these two fine examples, is that people vote.

    March 4, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. Mark

    She took him to the "cleaners'. One would think Grayson would have been able to hold his own, but NOT EVEN CLOSE.

    March 4, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  17. hobart

    Bachmann is dead wrong! The Senate does not work on 60 votes, and it was never intended to work on 60 votes. The Senate rules allow filibuster, and it takes 60 votes to end one. Filibusters were always intended to be used rarely if ever.

    The Party of NO has exploited this loophole in record numbers to obstruct anything and everything that isn't 100% there way. Their mantra is it's my way or the highway, and with them, there is no compromise, ever!

    The Party of NO is also hypocritical in that they've used reconciliation numerous times when it suited their purposes, e.g. to prevent Democratic filibuster from preventing them from passing their agenda. Now that they're in the minority, suddenly, they want to change the rules.

    Why do Republicans so hate America?

    March 4, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  18. Lou

    Leave it to Michele Bachmann to stray off message. With her way of thinking everything should be investigated, there would be no time for real issues to be solved in Washington. Why didn't she answer the question? Typical of her.

    March 4, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  19. Grayson

    Grayson is an idiot

    March 4, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  20. strategy?

    If the GOP sends Bachmann to a debate, then they really don't intend to win.

    March 4, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. USN

    If it's OK to use to take over 1/6 of the economy and peoples lives, THEN lets use it to change the constitution ! Why not use it to change to a dictatorship .

    March 4, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  22. gary

    Go Grayson!

    March 4, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. RobK

    As long as reconciliation is performed under all the existing rules, then the Democrats are free to use it. Democrat Robert Byrd devised most of the recent rules for the process.

    March 4, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  24. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    "...If it's good enough to provide tax cuts for the rich – twice under Bush – it's good enough to provide health care for all Americans."

    To which Bachmann replied, "oh, snap!"

    Have a nice day!

    March 4, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. Jeff in Virginia

    Typical lying Bachmann. The 'nuclear option' is what the Republicans threatened in the late 90's, where they were going to outright remove the filibuster if the Democrats didn't stop using it.

    March 4, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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