Democratic leaders are preparing to push health care legislation through the Senate using reconciliation, which would bar Republicans from filibustering the measure.
In a recent interview with DUQ News, Senator Arlen Specter said he supports the tactic despite opposing it a year ago.
Like many other Democrats, Specter is talking up the fact reconciliation has been used 22 times, including with several notable bills, like legislation creating the COBRA and SCHIP programs.
"So there are lots of precedents for it. And the people who are objecting most strenuously among the Republicans now have been fervent advocates for it. Their words are enshrined in the Congressional Record."
But so are Specter’s. In March 2009, when he was still a Republican, Specter said passing a health care or cap and trade bill through reconciliation would be a “colossal mistake,” arguing such a move would “destroy a most precious aspect of Senate procedure.”
Now, Specter thinks it’s the only option, saying Democrats need to “fight fire with fire” if Republicans won’t allow an up or down vote on the measure.
The Senate-passed health care bill is currently working its way through the House.