REID HAS A MESSAGE FOR MCCONNELL….. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is making plans for the final floor activity on health care reform, and if there are lingering doubts from skeptical House Dems about Reid’s intentions, they should check out his new letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explaining the path forward on health insurance reform. In the letter, Senator Reid details the steps that Senate Democrats have taken to secure bipartisan support for health reform despite the lack of cooperation from Senate Republicans. Reid said he will seek a democratic, up-or-down simple majority vote to revise the health reform bill already passed by a supermajority of 60 Senators last December. Reid also reiterated the commitment of Senate Democrats to deliver meaningful health reform that will ensure access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
Reid’s letter wasn’t exactly tepid. It accuses Republicans of “distorting the facts” and spreading “outright lies” while millions of Americans “struggle to afford to stay healthy, stay out of bankruptcy and stay in their homes.”
Reid reminded McConnell that Republican concerns about reconciliation are “unjustified,” and that “the reconciliation bill now under consideration would not be the vehicle for comprehensive reform.” The Majority Leader added that it’s McConnell’s party that has long loved this same procedure: “[O]ne might conclude that Republicans believe a majority vote is sufficient to increase the deficit and benefit the super-rich, but not to reduce the deficit and benefit the middle class. Alternatively, perhaps Republicans believe a majority vote is appropriate only when Republicans are in the majority. Either way, we disagree.”
He concludes by effectively daring McConnell and his caucus to oppose the legislation: “Keep in mind that reconciliation will not exclude Republicans from the legislative process. You will continue to have an opportunity to offer amendments and change the shape of the legislation. In addition, at the end of the process, the bill can pass only if it wins a democratic, up-or-down majority vote. If Republicans want to vote against a bill that reduces health care costs, fills the prescription drug “donut hole” for seniors and reduces the deficit, you will have every right to do so.”
Seems like someone had his Wheaties this morning.