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Kent Conrad: It's Wrong to Ram Health-care Bill Through Senate, But We Might Do It Anyway

12:56 PM, Mar 31, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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TPM's Brian Beutler reports that Senate Budget Commitee Chairman Kent Conrad reaffirmed his opposition to including health-care legislation in budget reconciliation, a move that would eliminate the ability to filibuster the bill. Yesterday, Conrad told reporters:

I've been as clear as I can be publicly and privately, that I don't think reconciliation is the right way to write fundamental reform legislation. It wasn't designed for that purpose. It was designed for deficit reduction.

But he added:

if it proved absolutely essential--if there were no Republican co-operation on writing major health care reform--you could run a second budget resolution. It would only take a day on the floor and you could put reconciliation instructions there.

So, on principle, Conrad thinks health-care legislation shouldn't be included in budget reconciliation, but if Democrats can't get what they want, well, it seems he's not going to let his principles stand in the way.