Harry Reid: Reconciliation "Always an Option" | Durbin: "Failsafe on this is Reconciliation"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made something crystal clear on Monday. Reconciliation is on the table and Democrats won't be held hostage by anyone. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin added, "the failsafe on this is reconciliation."

Via Ryan Grim (h/t mcjoan):

"Sure, it's always an option," Reid said after leaving his press conference Monday, when he announced that he'd be pushing forward with a public health insurance option with an opt-out provision that would give states the right not to participate.

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who is in charge of corralling and counting votes, also said that reconciliation is still being considered. "The failsafe on this is reconciliation," Durbin said. "I hope we don't reach it because you can only do a limited amount of things on reconciliation."


If only 50 votes are needed, Lieberman becomes irrelevant, the most damning sentence that can be handed down to a Senator.

Sen. Arlen Specter was asked if if he'd support using reconciliation during a conference call with progressive bloggers (via Think Progress):
[...] during a conference call with progressive bloggers, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) was asked if, given Lieberman’s position, he would support using the reconciliation process to pass health care reform with a public option, which would require a mere simple majority for passage. Specter said that he might eventually but added that he thinks the Democratic caucus will get 60 votes:

And yet, Reid's Spokesman quoted as saying, "Nothing Has Changed" on Lieberman's Position in the Democratic Caucus (via TPM's Eric Kleefeld):

We asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's spokesman Jim Manley whether Sen. Joe Lieberman's (ID-CT) position as a senior member of the Democratic caucus and a committee chairman is still secure, in light of his new comments that he will filibuster the public option.

"Nothing has changed," Manley told us.


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