Politics

34 Of 41 Senate Republicans Supported Passing Major Domestic Policy Legislation Through Reconciliation

As the outlook on passage of health reform improves, Republicans have shifted to a new obstructionist strategy: attacking the process of reconciliation. Republicans claim that reconciliation was only intended to be used for bills dealing closely with the budget. In fact, when Republicans were in power, GOP lawmakers used reconciliation numerous times to pass major domestic policy legislation, including the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 and important changes to health care policy. In fact, 34 of the 41 Senate Republicans have used reconciliation in the past to pass major pieces of domestic policy.

In 2005, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) famously defended reconciliation as “majority rules.” Think Progress has compiled a video of some of these 34 senators who have, in the past, defended reconciliation and railed against the filibuster. Some highlights:

— “If you’ve got 51 votes for your position, you win.” — Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), 3/15/05

— “For some time, I hoped that my colleagues who oppose reform would allow a majority in both bodies to prevail and do what the vast majority of the American public desires.” — Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), 10/15/99

— “It [the filibuster] is the product of a rule of the Senate passed many years after the ratification of the Constitution. This rule does not derive from the authority of the Constitution.” — Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), 5/19/05

— “Filibusters are neither an idea of the founding fathers nor a historical tradition of the Senate.” — Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), 4/27/05

Watch it:

The full list of Senate Republicans who have used reconciliation to pass major domestic policy, as well as a list of those pieces of legislation can be found after the jump:

Major domestic policy legislation that these 34 Senators have voted for through reconciliation in the past 20 years: Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989, Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, Balanced Budget Act of 1995, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act of 1999, Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000, Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007


Senator State Senator State
Lamar Alexander Tennessee Judd Gregg New Hampshire
John Barrasso Wyoming Orrin Hatch Utah
Robert Bennett Utah Kay Bailey Hutchison Texas
Christopher Bond Montana James Inhofe Oklahoma
Sam Brownback Kansas Johnny Isakson Georgia
Jim Bunning Kentucky Jon Kyl Arizona
Richard Burr North Carolina Richard Lugar Indiana
Tom Coburn Oklahoma John McCain Arizona
Susan Collins Maine Mitch McConnell Kentucky
Bob Corker Tennessee Lisa Murkowski Alaska
John Cornyn Texas Pat Roberts Kansas
Mike Crapo Idaho Jeff Sessions Alabama
James DeMint Sourth Carolina Richard Shelby Alabama
John Ensign Nevada Olympia Snowe Maine
Mike Enzi Wyoming John Thune South Dakota
Lindsey Graham South Carolina David Vitter Louisiana
Chuck Grassley Iowa George Voinovich Ohio