Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is holding the option of using a legislative maneuver to create not only a sweeping overhaul of the nation's health care system but also a controversial cap and trade energy program, a move that could torpedo bipartisanship.
The maneuver, known as "reconciliation," protects legislation to which it's attached from a Senate filibuster. Republicans, in their deep minority status, are in an uproar over the possibility that they will be all but eliminated from the legislative process.
But Republicans are not alone in their opposition. A sizable number of Democrats have protested the move; first and foremost, Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., who excluded it from his committee's budget passed Thursday.
The House has reconciliation instructions in its budget for health care, and Reid left open the door Thursday to adding energy protections as well.
"We're leaving nothing off the table," Reid told reporters Thursday, a move that has touched off a firestorm of concern behind the scenes.
So concerned about the possibility of it being used, Sens. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., and Mike Johnanns, R-Neb., sent a letter of strong protest to the majority leader.
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Sunday, March 29, 2009
Reid Leaves Open Option for Extreme Maneuver on Health Care, Energy Overhauls
Reid Leaves Open Option for Extreme Maneuver on Health Care, Energy Overhauls; FOXNews