"Yes, you can," Ryan said. "Reconciliation is the fastest best path to get there. We do want to use reconciliation, you ultimately have to use reconciliation to get there."
"Absolutely," added Gregg. "Reconciliation passes the Senate with 51 votes and it can adjust entitlement programs so they're affordable."
In fairness to Ryan, at the beginning of the 111th Congress, he granted that Democrats were perfectly within their rights to use the reconciliation process.
"It's their right. They did win the election," he said Ryan. "That's what I tell all my constituents who are worried about this. They won the election. They did run on these ideas. They did run on nationalizing health care.... They have the votes with reconciliation. They nailed down the process so that they can make sure they have the votes and that they can get this thing through really fast. It is their right. It is what they can do."
When Dems ultimately decided to use the procedure to modify their health care law, though, Ryan called it a "charade" and an "unprecedented abuse" of the process.
As it turns out, there are strict rules to the reconciliation process that would complicate things for the GOP. The budget rules require legislation passed through reconciliation to be deficit neutral or better. Repealing the budgetary portions of the health care bill, according to CBO, would increase the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years.