White House Indicates Obama Willing to Circumvent Republicans on Health Reform

The White House insisted on Thursday that it was open to the use of a parliamentary procedure that would prevent health care reform from being filibustered by Republicans in the Senate.


Speaking minutes after President Barack Obama met with a group of bipartisan lawmakers from the Senate Finance Committee, spokesman Robert Gibbs stressed that the administration's preference was to get a health care bill passed through normal measures. But, in one of the strongest indications to date that the president is willing to circumvent Republicans, Gibbs affirmatively stated that the use reconciliation (a move that allows bills to be considered on an up-or-down basis) was on the White House's mind.

"Obviously, the President meeting with Democrats and Republicans means the President is interested in doing this first and foremost through regular order," he said. "Obviously the option for reconciliation was contained in the budget and we will certainly cross that bridge when we get there."

"It is certainly out there," Gibbs added.

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