The Rachel Maddow Show: I.O.K.W.A.R.D.I.

Rachel Maddow calls out Judd Gregg for his 180 on the filibuster rule and his threat to stall healthcare bill in the Senate. As Rachel noted, the one
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Rachel Maddow calls out Judd Gregg for his 180 on the filibuster rule and his threat to stall healthcare bill in the Senate. As Rachel noted, the one point of consistency... I.O.K.W.A.R.D.I.

Sen. Judd Gregg has hundreds of procedural objections ready for a healthcare plan Democrats want to speed through the Senate.

Gregg (N.H.), the senior Republican on the Budget Committee, told The Hill in a recent interview that Republicans will wage a vicious fight if Democrats try to circumvent Senate rules and use a budget maneuver to pass a trillion-dollar healthcare plan with a simple majority.

The death of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) leaves Democrats with 59 Senate seats — one shy of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. That, combined with the pushback from Republican negotiators, has prompted Democratic leaders to look more closely at using budget reconciliation to push a healthcare overhaul through.

The maneuver was originally intended to help reduce the federal deficit by allowing spending cuts and tax increases to pass by majority vote, but it has since been used to fast-track wider-scope legislation, such as former President George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts.

Republicans, however, warn that if Democrats attempt the maneuver, their healthcare bill will end up looking like Swiss cheese.

Gregg said that Republicans could file “hundreds” of points-of-order objections to the bill, each one requiring 60 votes to waive.

“We are very much engaged in taking a hard look at our rights under reconciliation,” Gregg said. “It would be very contentious.”

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