Robert Byrd on using Reconciliation to pass Health Care
UPDATE: Other Democrats seem to agree:
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) threw cold water on the idea of using the reconciliation process Sunday during an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation program."
"Reconciliation can not be used to pass comprehensive health care reform," said Conrad, who is the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. "The major package would not be done through reconciliation."
Asked by host Bob Scheiffer to elaborate, given that the White House suggested earlier Sunday that they could pass the main bill with a simple majority of 51 votes, Conrad said thaat reconciliation was not, in fact, an option.
"I am the chairman of the committee in the Senate and I think I understand how reconciliation works and can't work," he said, arguing that the so-called Byrd Rule would prevent the use of reconciliation for the main health care bill. "The only possible role I can see for reconciliation would be to make modest changes in the major package."
Conrad said only "side car" issues could be affected through the reconciliation process. . . .