STEPHANOPOULOS: And in order to get it, though, you saw how difficult it was to actually spend money, give benefits with the stimulus package. You're scrapping for those three Republican votes. Some key Democrats on Capitol Hill are saying, if you want to do all of these big projects this year, you're going to have to follow what is called the reconciliation process, put health care, put energy inside the reconciliation process so that the effect of it is you only need 51 votes, not 60. Is that the administration's intention?
ORSZAG: I think it's premature to be figuring out the
legislative strategy exactly right now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you're not ruling it out?
ORSZAG: It's not where we go first, but we have to keep
everything on the table. We want to get these -- these important
things done this year.
You may remember that the Republicans almost pulled the trigger on the nuclear option by the mad doctor Bill Frist because they were power hungry madmen and were whining about their judge appointments even though over 90% had actually gone through. This is a procedure that is legal for Obama to use if he so chooses. I hope it doesn't come to that, but he can't have his budget decimated by whining conservatives or half baked Democrats like Ben Nelson and then have them vote against it.
Because they can not be filibustered, budget reconciliations only require 50 votes to pass the Senate. Democrats hold strong majorities in Congress, but still come up short of the 60 votes necessary in the Senate to end debate, which makes it easier for Republicans to block legislation. House rules in comparison make it harder for the minority party to stop bills.
Howie likes it very much:
If you watched ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos this morning you may have been as cheered as I was to hear Obama's brilliant young OMB head Peter Orszag, unveil a potent weapon that can be used to defuse the Republicans' filibuster-everything tactic. If Reid invokes the budget reconciliation process to deal with the budget-- as he should-- the Republicans won't be able to filibuster and even if a couple of far right Democrats like Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu or Blanche Lincoln defect, the budget will still pass handily-- with or without the 3 mainstream Republicans. I can hear Miss McConnell, Kyl, Cornyn and the rest of the obstructionists bellowing now!
Gives a little oomph to the "Bring It On" response we heard from the Obama Administration last week in regard to lobbyists and obstructionists claiming they would eviscerate the budget.