Senate Leader Reid Again Says Reconciliation Possible for Pro-Abortion Health Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 22, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Leader Reid Again Says Reconciliation Possible for Pro-Abortion Health Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 22
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — With the health care bills in Congress having the potential to increase the number of abortions by one-third, making sure they are amended to prevent abortion funding is crucial. If the amendments fail, stopping the bills with a filibuster is a second option, but Senate Democrats may take that away.

As he has threatened before, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says abortion advocates may use a process called reconciliation to railroad the pro-abortion health care bill thorough the chamber.

Reconciliation makes it so the minority does not have the filibuster as a tool to make it so 60 voters are needed to end debate and allow a vote on a bill. Reid doesn’t seem to mind that the process is supposed to be used in emergency purpose for budget bills and other important financial matters.

"If we can’t work this out to do something within the committee structure, then we’ll be forced to do the reconciliation," Reid said today, adding that he views that as a "last resort."

"It remains to be seen as to whether we will have to do reconciliation. I am confident and hopeful we won’t have to do that, but time will only tell," Reid said.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters today in response that Democrats will suffer a severe backlash if they prevent a filibuster on the pro-abortion health care bill. McConnell went as far as calling the move the "nuclear" option.

“Let me say…budget reconciliation has never been used to structure one-sixth of the American economy,” said McConnell. “If that option were chosen, there would be a severe, negative, and I think appropriate reaction from the American people.”

“If you thought the American people were upset in August, you haven’t seen how upset they will be if this device is chosen," he added.

Republican Sen. Richard Burr, a pro-life advocate from North Carolina, also responded and said reconciliation would be a "grave mistake," and that Reid underestimates the public concerns over the bill.

"I don’t think it’s a threat. I think that’s what Harry Reid intends to do," Burr told FOX News.

Reid is also courting Sen. Olympia Snowe, the pro-abortion Maine Republican who could become the 60th vote Democrats need to stop a filibuster without reconciliation.

“I hope all Republicans follow her because she is a brilliant leader,” Reid said.

Yet he pointed out that reconciliation is on the table if Snowe doesn’t help him get 60 votes.

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