Friday, February 26, 2010

Key senators may be warming to idea of passing health reform through reconciliation

I talked about the senators who would be key to getting health reform passed through reconciliation in a previous post. Now comes this from Politico. Senators Bayh, Landrieu, and Nelson who opposed reconciliation in the past now are making statements suggesting they might be will to consider it as a way forward.

Poltico quotes the three senators:

"Obviously, if the minority is just frustrating the process, that argues for taking steps to get the public’s business done,” said Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who was one of the leading voices against the procedure after the Massachusetts election, calling it “very ill-advised.”

“At the same time ... Republicans would probably shut the place down, but you could argue they are doing that anyway,” Bayh said.

Bayh’s remarks Tuesday came a day after Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) cited Republican obstructionism as a reason why she could embrace the parliamentary maneuver to pass health care reform. Last month, she said she was leaning against reconciliation.

“I’m staying open to see how these negotiations go forward,” Landrieu said. “I’ve not generally been a big supporter, but the Republican Party, the leadership, has really been very, very, very disingenuous in this process.”

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said he doesn’t prefer reconciliation, but it may be the only way.

“I’d like to see as many votes as possible,” he said. “But at the end of the day, with the obstructionism going on at the level that it is, I’m more interested in what’s in the package than I am in the process of how many votes it takes to get it through.”

Read more:

Also, rumor has it that the Democrats could start working on a reconciliation bill as early as next week.

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