Reconciliation is an attempt at forcing health care reform through without any Republican votes. Don't let the names fool you; it reconciles nothing but selfish liberal attitudes toward their own selfish agendas.
Reconciliation is seldom-used and controversial tactic that allows bills to be passed in the Senate with only a simple majority of votes, and Democrats said this week they are considering it as part of a plan to push through their stalled health care reform legislation in the face of entrenched Republican opposition. It may sound like an upbeat outcome to a messy quarrel, but "reconciliation" is hardly a smooth political solution on Capitol Hill.
Reconciliation is a seldom-used and controversial tactic that allows bills to be passed in the Senate with only a simple majority of votes, and Democrats said this week they are considering it as part of a plan to push through their stalled health care reform legislation in the face of entrenched Republican opposition.
"I think a decision has just been made -- we're just going to go ahead" with a reconciliation bill, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told reporters on Friday.
So what is reconciliation and why has it been described as political dynamite?
Under reconciliation,, 51 senators can amend a bill, bypassing the need for a 60-vote majority to hold off Republican delaying tactics, in particular a filibuster. Debate is limited to a maximum of 20 hours.
But legislation passed by reconciliation can only affect budget revenue, government spending and taxes.
And given that it has the potential to diffuse one of the few weapons in the minority party's arsenal, it generally has been seen as a tactic of last resort.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., wrote to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel this week urging the administration to take reconciliation off the table as an "important show of good faith to Republicans and the American people."
"The existence of any kind of backroom health care deal among the White House and Democratic leaders would certainly make a mockery of the president's stated desire to have a 'bipartisan' and 'transparent' dialogue on this issue," Boehner, Cantor, and Pence wrote. "To ensure we can move forward in good faith, we ask that you publicly disavow these reports and assure the American people that Democratic leadership is not putting together any kind of backroom health care deal or plotting any kind of legislative trickery to pass it."