FLASHBACK: Sen. McCain Conceded It Would Be Hypocritical For GOP To Oppose Reconciliation
In an appearance on Fox News last night, Sen. McCain said that the use of reconciliation would set a "terrible precedent" that would "blow up" the Senate. However, in March, he admitted that Republicans had already set that precedent when they were in power.
At a town hall meeting yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) criticized the prospect of using reconciliation to pass health insurance reform. "It would be a drastic change in the way that the United States does business," he said.
Last night on Fox News, McCain doubled down on his comments, telling Greta Van Susteren that the use of reconciliation would set a "terrible precedent" that would "blow up" the Senate. "I think it would fundamentally change the way the institution functions," he declared. Watch it:
McCain, however, seems to be playing dumb. As Fox News' Shepard Smith pointed out yesterday, "Republicans used this in 2001, 2003, and 2005 to pass then-President George Bush's tax cuts." In fact, McCain conceded in March that the "terrible precedent" had already been set when the GOP was in power:
I fully recognize that Republicans have in the past engaged in using reconciliation to further the party's agenda. I wish it had not been done then, and I hope it will not be done now that the groundwork has been laid.
Think Progress noted, "McCain has a mixed record on reconciliation bills. Though he opposed the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts passed through reconciliation, he supported other Bush agenda items passed through reconciliation, such as legislation to reduce spending on Medicaid."
**Update: Steve Benen has more.