Yesterday, I asked Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) what he and other moderates had heard from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at an impromptu afternoon meeting about health care reform. Nelson said
Reid "talked about process, procedure, discussion about reconciliation and a whole host of issues of that sort."
Reconciliation is a complicated legislative process that would allow Reid to pass some version of reform without having to contend with a filibuster. "Nobody's really jumping up and down to push for reconciliation," Nelson added, "he's not threatening that, but anybody can conclude that if you don't move something on to the floor, that is one of the possibilities."
Today, at an event celebrating the unveiling of his health care bill, I asked Reid what specifically he'd said to Nelson--along with Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA)--about reconciliation. His answer left no wiggle room: "I'm not using reconciliation," he said.