Battle Brewing Over Reconciliation, Which Is Anything but That





Republicans are in a tizzy because Democrats are threatening to use the budgetary procedure known as reconciliation β€” it reconciles policy with fiscal guidelines β€” to overhaul the health care system, possibly enact climate change legislation and rewrite education policy.

They have good reason to fret: If Democrats successfully invoke reconciliation, such major bills could pass by a simple majority vote, denying Republicans the filibuster, their sole remaining weapon to influence federal policy given the Democratic grip on government.

β€œIt stinks,” Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said as he pondered the prospect of Democrats pulling the trigger on reconciliation.

But there are a couple of problems for Republicans as they push back furiously against the idea, chief of which is the fact that they used the process themselves on several occasions, notably when enacting more than $1 trillion in tax cuts in 2001.

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