In 2005, Democratic Senators were up in arms over their Republican counterparts, who were the majority at the time, proposing to use the nuclear option to change Senate rules. At issue was Democrats using the filibuster to obstruct Pres. Bush’s judicial nominees. It’s important to note the purpose of the filibuster is to empower “41 or more senators to prevent a narrow majority from abusing its power.”
So, why are Democrats considering the nuclear option to pass health care reform? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wasn’t even bashful about an end run on Face to Face with Jon Ralston last Friday. It seems likely Democrats will use budget reconciliation rules to get around the fillibuster. Instead of the 60-member supermajority needed for cloture, such a bill would pass on a simple majority—51 or more Senators.
The drastic changes in the health care bill are not just a “budget reconciliation”. And the matter is far more serious, affecting over 300 million Americans, than Bush’s judicial nominees. Call, fax, write, or email your Senators to tell them you will not stand for circumventing the Founding Fathers’ intent on the legislative process, not even for health care reform.