WaPo Leaves Out Some Key Reconciliation Facts
Reporting on the White House’s final push to pass their health care reform bill, Lori Montgomery and Shailagh Murray write in the March 3rd Washington Post:
Reconciliation is a procedure created in 1974 to help lawmakers advance politically difficult budget legislation, particularly measures that reduce the deficit. It has been used 22 times by both parties since 1980 to promote a variety of policies, including overhauling the welfare system, creating COBRA health benefits for people who lose their jobs, and cutting taxes in two huge packages championed by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003.
This is all true but it leaves out some crucial facts about these votes. As this Sunlight Foundation chart of past reconciliation final votes shows, welfare reform and COBRA, as well as the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, all passed with bipartisan votes. President Barack Obama, on the other hand, intends to use reconciliation to reorganize 1/6th of the nation’s economy on a strictly party line vote.