During a press conference outside the White House after meeting with President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid left no doubt that the overriding goal for health care reform remains passing a bill through the regular legislative process rather than using procedural tools to enact measures that can’t be filibustered.
“We have a lot of work to do, understand that, but we’re still approaching this in the form of bipartisanship,” Reid said. “We want a bipartisan bill. We do not want [to use] reconciliation unless we have no alternative.”
As we’ve reported, Democratic leaders have been gaming out the possibility of using the budget reconciliation process to enact reform measures that would be exempt from a 60 vote requirement. But for the time being, the goal remains to push forward with negotiations with moderate Republicans–notably Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)–to advance a bill that can overcome a filibuster and, maybe, win a couple of Republican votes.