Too much is enough, according to Nancy Pelosi.
In an interview with Roll Call [sub req] Nancy Pelosi makes the case for using a "majority vote," or reconciliation, for getting healthcare reform done.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is pinning the blame on Republicans for a lack of bipartisanship in Congress and plans to bypass them if they continue to oppose efforts to enact near-universal health care.
"A constitutional majority is 51 votes," Pelosi said in an interview Tuesday with Roll Call. "If in fact the Republicans are going to say nothing can be done except by 60 percent, then maybe we all should be elected with 60 percent. It isn’t legitimate in terms of passing legislation."
"There is some unease when you talk about, well, what’s happening to the initiatives to help the American people?" Pelosi said. "Is there never anything that can be done without 60 votes?"
[I]n her interview with Roll Call, Pelosi stopped short of saying the filibuster should be done away with altogether, but she used some of her bluntest language yet to defend the use of reconciliation as something that has been used with regularity by Republican and Democratic presidents alike.
"We have set the stage for that. It’s important for us to remind the American people of the inconsistency that the Republicans have in saying this is unusual. No, five times President Bush used it. ... This is what the Republicans did to pass their bills, their tax cuts for the rich," Pelosi said.
"It’s up to us to make sure the public knows that this is not extraordinary. And the public knows that a constitutional majority is 51. It would be a reflection on us if we could not convince people that this is not an unusual place to go."
And Pelosi complained about the never-ending filibusters by Senate Republicans going far beyond the health care debate.
"Yes, the filibuster has its place, it may even have its place in health care — it’s a very big issue. But does it have its place on every appointment and every piece of legislation? We have over 200 bills over there that haven’t been taken up. Most of them, 70 percent of them, were passed with over 50 Republican votes in the House. ...
"We haven’t gotten as much done as we should and one of those reasons is because of what the Republicans are doing. ... The American people have to make a judgment about the conduct of the Republicans in insisting on that on every vote, and the Democrats in the Senate have to deal with the challenge that they have."
Pelosi also said she is open to Republicans presenting new ideas at the Feb. 25 bipartisan health care summit called for by Obama, but she said she’s already seen the Republican health care alternative offered on the House floor and said it only provided insurance for an additional 3 million people instead of the more than 30 million in the Democratic bill.
It's an important political message to set up going into the February 25 meeting--Republicans not only have obstructed the process every step of the way. The summit is pretty unlikely to change that dynamic, and the summit can be used, if Obama and Reid are willing to go along with Pelosi in this messaging, to get the bill done through reconciliation… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Daily Kos>
It’s certainly time for reconciliation, but more. Rachel Maddow and Howard Dean make one of the best cases I have heard for ending the filibuster.
This bill will never pass, because the GOP will filibuster it. But it only takes 51 votes to change the Senate rules if they do so on the first day of the next new session in January.
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