The Hill: Reid Using Reconciliation To Threaten Right-Wing Senate Dems

If Reid doesn't get this done, he won't be Majority Leader for long:

Talk about using budget reconciliation to pass healthcare reform in the Senate has faded from public view, but Democratic leaders continue to hang the threat over centrists in private.

FYI: They're not "centrists" - they're corporate conservatives.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) discussed reconciliation with wavering centrists before an important procedural vote to begin debate on healthcare reform.

On Saturday, Nov. 21, three centrists, Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), voted to commence debate, despite heavy pressure from Republicans and conservative groups to oppose it.

Nelson wrote in an op-ed last week that he voted for the motion to avoid the prospect of Reid bringing healthcare legislation to the floor under budget reconciliation, a process with special procedural protections originally intended for legislation to reduce the deficit, such as tax increases or spending cuts.

[...] Under reconciliation, healthcare legislation could pass with a simple majority after a strictly limited floor debate. But lawmakers would have to carve up the bill to eliminate provisions that do not clearly raise revenue or cut spending and therefore would be subject to parliamentary objections. Reid has said that he could pass a government-run health insurance program, known as the public option, under reconciliation.


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