04.28.09

ENZI URGES DEMOCRATS TO REJECT BUDGET WITH RECONCILIATION INSTRUCTIONS

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today issued the following statement on the Democrats’ decision to misuse budget reconciliation and bypass a full, fair legislative process on health care reform:

“How did reconciliation instructions make it into the conference report after so many powerful Senate Democrats said they opposed using reconciliation and would fight to keep it out of the budget? Including reconciliation language in the budget conference report sends the message that Democrats don’t want to negotiate with Republicans or moderate Democrats, and it might enrage many to walk away from the table. I urge my Democratic colleagues to rethink their decision to include reconciliation the budget conference report, so that we can get back to working in good faith on comprehensive, bipartisan reform.

“If the Majority Leader is committed to ‘comprehensive, bipartisan health care legislation,’ there’s a way to prove it – reject this budget resolution. If the Majority Leader wants to ‘welcome an open and honest debate,’ about health care, then he should stop pushing his caucus to misuse the reconciliation process to limit the debate on health care and shut out good ideas from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

“Trying to move a health care reform bill on reconciliation would rehash the Pelosi war cry, ‘We won the election, we get to write the bills.’ This kind of partisanship disenfranchises millions of Americans, and it’s wrong. They are looking for common sense solutions not party messages. The American people deserve a good, bipartisan bill, but using reconciliation will make that impossible.

“It is easy to kill legislation by confusion – reconciliation would be a good first step toward doing just that. There never has been a bill with as many moving parts that affect as many people as this bill. To get a workable solution it will require the effort of everybody in the Senate. If we can’t come up with a plan that at least 75 or 80 senators like, we will not have the confidence of the American people, and the plan will fail.

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