Obama Eyes Less 'Bipartisan' Tactics for Future Reform Battles
March 4, 2009
President Obama’s budget director said the White House would consider using a Senate procedural tactic so that only 50 votes would be required to pass major healthcare and energy reforms.
Peter Orszag, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the administration would prefer not to use the budget reconciliation process to push through its package. But he added: "We have to keep everything on the table. We want to get these.... important things done this year." Orszag called healthcare in particular "the key to our fiscal future."
Orszag made the comments on ABC’s "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."
Because they can not be filibustered, budget reconciliations only require 50 votes to pass the Senate. Democrats hold strong majorities in Congress, but still come up short of the 60 votes necessary in the Senate to end debate, which makes it easier for Republicans to block legislation. House rules in comparison make it harder for the minority party to stop bills.