Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), ranking member on the Budget Committee, has an interesting position on the question of passing legislation through the budget reconciliation process. That is to say, he unequivocally opposes the procedure in all circumstances (unless those circumstances involve Republican agenda items like tax cuts). We’ve tracked his swings here pretty thoroughly, and noticed that he was at it again today on Fox News. Watch:
There are at least a few problems with this, but the biggest are that: a). Democrats aren’t proposing nationalization of the health care system; b). reconciliation bills require 51 votes for passage, so they don’t “roll the minority” so much as circumvent the filibuster and thereby restore something called “majority rule”; and c). though reconciliation does limit debate to 20 hours, the Democrats say they won’t resort to the tactic until October 15, giving Republicans nearly six months to debate health reform, and vote for a bipartisan bill.