Dems Fast-Track Health Care Overhaul

Filibuster-proof tactic likely to enrage GOP
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2009 5:57 AM CDT
Republicans have threatened to do all they can to bog down the Senate if the administration tries to push through a health care bill without debate.   (©trec_lit)
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(Newser) – Democratic leaders in Congress have agreed to adopt a filibuster-proof tactic to get President Obama's health care bill passed before the year is out, reports the New York Times. The tactic—known as "budget reconciliation"—will let the bill pass the Senate with a simple majority instead of the 60 votes needed to break filibusters, a strategy certain to earn the administration the wrath of Republicans.

The tactic amounts to a "declaration of war," said Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming). Some Democrats have expressed misgivings about the approach, but President Obama has signaled his willingness to risk a bitter partisan fight, telling lawmakers he favors using the measure to ensure the legislation passes even if the Democrats can't add one vote to the 58 they have in the Senate.