In RealClearPolitics, David Hoppe and John Hart write:
Remember the “Cornhusker Kickback” and the “Louisiana Purchase”? During the Obama administration, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid crafted the deals to buy the votes of Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu to pass the original Senate Affordable Care Act with 60 votes on Christmas Eve 2009.
Then, Massachusetts voters replaced Sen. Ted Kennedy with Scott Brown before the final bill could pass the House and get back to the Senate. For Democrats, it looked like the ACA was dead.
Suddenly, the White House and the Democratic Congress decided that they could pass health care by using a reconciliation bill.
First, it’s important to explain what reconciliation means. Put simply, the budget reconciliation process is like the TSA Pre Check process at airports — it speeds things up. For instance, a reconciliation bill isn’t subject to a Senate filibuster (which can only be ended with 60 votes), and debate is limited to 20 hours. The catch is in order to be eligible for the reconciliation process, a bill has to have a budgetary impact.
Read the full post here.