This afternoon in his town hall, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he is “unalterably opposed” to using the budget reconciliation process to pass health care reform. “It would be a drastic change in the way that the United States Senate does business.” Fox News’ Shep Smith fact-checked McCain’s claim immediately upon the conclusion of the town hall. “The truth is Republicans used this in 2001, 2003, and 2005 to pass then-President George Bush’s tax cuts,” Smith said. Armed with some research, he then reported this quote from Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH):
“Reconciliation is a rule of the Senate (that) has been used before for purposes exactly like this on numerous occasions.” … “Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don’t think so. … The point, of course, is this: If you have 51 votes for your position, you win.”
Smith concluded that if Democrats “were to take health care and put it in under reconciliation, they could do that.” Watch it:
Matt Finkelstein has more.