WASHINGTON (CN) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday promoted the reconciliation process as a legal means to pass the stalled health care legislation, signaling a growing willingness among Democrats to bypass an anticipated Republican filibuster and seek a simple majority vote.
The California lawmaker issued a release citing a Sunday New York Times article where congressional scholars defend the use of reconciliation. “The history is clear: While the use of reconciliation in this case is new, it is compatible with the law, Senate rules and the framers’ intent,” the article reads.
Her email comes a week after President Obama said a simple majority should be able to pass the bill.
The procedure was introduced in the 1980s to resolve budgets, and it benefits the majority by not allowing for a filibuster. Reconciliation has been used 22 times, but none has amended a bill that already passed the Senate via cloture.
Republicans have said that reconciliation has never been used to pass legislation as big as health reform but Pelosi maintained that the House and Senate have already passed health care reform bills, and that reconciliation would be used just on the limited changes made to the bill.