After losing their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and other Democratic leaders have acknowledged that they may utilize the controversial parliamentary procedure known as budget reconciliation to pass their version of the healthcare bill.
The tactic would allow Democrats to push through major aspects of the bill with just 51 votes, rather than the 60 that are usually required to overcome a filibuster.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)and other GOP leaders have lashed out at Reid for trying to jam through a piece of legislation that is being heavily resisted by the American people. Republicans are also questioning the timing of Reid’s threat to use the parliamentary procedure on the eve of the bipartisan healthcare summit hosted by President Obama.
"It’s hard for us to quite understand why, with reconciliation being planned, we’re having a meeting which is allegedly designed to engender some bipartisan agreement," said Senater John Kyl (R-Ariz.).
Reid warned the GOP to "stop crying" over the possibility of reconciliation, as it has been used by Republicans many times in the past. He noted that the shortcut has been used 21 times since 1981.