Judd Gregg’s evolving opinion of the budget reconciliation process.

Some members of the Obama administration have suggested that they might use the budget reconciliation process to pass their health care and energy proposals, which would require only 51 votes in the Senate, instead of the usual 60. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) doesn’t like this idea, claiming that it is the equivalent of “running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River.” But The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn notes that Gregg wasn’t so opposed to pushing changes through budget reconciliation in 2005 when Republicans were in power:

Republican leaders indicated Tuesday that they plan to press the issue of drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as part of a so-called budget reconciliation process, which cannot be subject to a Democratic filibuster — a tactic that has blocked the refuge’s development in the past. …

Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H. said it was reasonable to assume ANWR, as the refuge is commonly called, would be part of the budget measure.

“The president asked for it, and we’re trying to do what the president asked for,” Gregg said Tuesday after meeting privately with Republicans on his panel.


Matt Yglesias writes that “Gregg is being a hypocrite and deserves to be called on it; media outlets who quote him complaining without noting that he’s a hypocrite are being irresponsible.”


Bush’s 2001 tax cut passed the Senate with 58 votes and his 2003 tax cut passed with 51 votes.