In order to prevent the Senate's forty-one Republicans from blocking a vote on health care reform, Democrats may try to pass some elements of reform through the budget reconciliation process. But just how easy would that be? In particular, even with reconciliation, could a minority of Senators still find ways to obstruct a vote--or at least delay one? TNR put the question to Treatment contributor Jeff Davis, who publishes and edits Transportation Weekly and who happens to be an expert on the legislative process.
The potential loss of a 60th vote in the Senate for health care reform has many in Washington focusing on the budget reconciliation process, which requires only 51 votes in that chamber.
Jeff Davis publishes and edits Transportation Weekly Even if the Senate GOP was not being completely obstructionist on every little procedural motion, the smart money has always been on bypassing an actual conference committee and settling health care via an exchange of amendments between the Houses for another very important reason: Democratic leaders have realized that a key feature of their big 2007 ethics bill is incredibly inconvenient. Section 511 of Public Law 110-81 (the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007) amended Senate Rule 28 (conference reports) to put in a strengthe