Three Senate Democrats who find themselves in political hot water back at home have come out opposed to using the reconciliation process to ram through a comprehensive health care bill. Sen. Blanche Lincoln said earlier today that she would fight any attempt to use reconciliation and Sen. Bayh said he would “consel against” its use. Also today, Sen. Ben Nelson’s office said he opposed the maneuver.
Democrats could technically afford to lose Lincoln, Bayh, Nelson and 6 more Senators and still theoretically pass a bill through reconciliation, because they only need 50 votes plus Joe Biden as the tie-breaker. But the more moderates defect from the party line and portray reconciliation as an ugly process that should be avoided, the more difficult it will be for Democratic leadership to counter Republican attacks on its use.
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