Daschle: Leave Whiny GOP in the Dust if Necessary

Democrats may need to use reconciliation
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2009 9:00 AM CDT
Daschle: Leave Whiny GOP in the Dust if Necessary
In this Jan. 8, 2009, file photo, then-Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Daschle, right, smiles as he prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

It’s essential that Congress act on health care, and if that means working without bipartisan support, so be it, writes Tom Daschle in the Wall Street Journal. If we fail, 60 million people will be uninsured in 10 years, and typical families will have to pay $25,000 a year in health insurance by 2025, argues the former senate majority leader. Bipartisanship is ideal—but “should Republican intransigence continue, Democrats cannot simply stop.”

“The choice between complete legislative failure and majority rule should not pose a dilemma for any Democratic senator,” Daschle notes. They must “use the Senate rules of budget reconciliation to allow a health care bill move with majority support.” And if Republicans complain, “they have only themselves to blame”: they’ve had plenty of opportunities for bipartisanship—and they themselves have used reconciliation “an ample number” of times over the past 10 years.
(More Tom Daschle stories.)

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