An Important Distinction

Reconciliation is a process, outlined in the Senate rules, through which certain kinds of bills can be passed by a simple majority.

The ‘nuclear option’ was a proposed change to Senate rules that would have eliminated the filibuster in all circumstances.

Why bring this up? Because Republicans are pretending that the nuclear option and reconciliation are the same thing–they’re trying to attack Democrats as hypocrites for opposing the nuclear option but supporting reconciliation for health care reform.

Sorry, Republicans, but words have meanings–you can’t just redefine them in order to smear your political opponents. Reconciliation and the nuclear option are not the same thing, no matter how often you lie about it.

UPDATE: And if conservatives try to claim that reconciliation is rarely-used or somehow unprecedented they should be reminded that–between 1995 and 2007–the GOP used reconciliation 7 times.

Most recently, the GOP used reconciliation to pass–wait for it–a health care reform bill:

  • 2005 – Legislation That Reduced Spending on Medicaid and Raised Premiums on Upper-Income Medicare Beneficiaries
  • 2003 – President Bush’s 2003 Tax Cuts
  • 2001 – President Bush’s Signature $1.35 Trillion Tax Cut
  • 2000 – $292 Billion “Marriage Penalty” Tax Cut (VETOED)
  • 1997 – Balanced Budget Act
  • 1996 – Legislation to Enact Welfare Reform
  • 1995 – “Contract With America” Agenda

[Emphasis mine]