Sen. Gregg Calls Reconciliation "Bastardization Of The Legislative Process"

September 09, 2009 1:35 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

This morning on Fox News, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) continued blasting the idea of using reconciliation to pass health care reform.  Gregg said it would be a "bastardization of the legislative process" to pass a bill by a majority vote:

Using budget reconciliation to pass healthcare reform would be a "bastardization of the legislative process," Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) asserted Wednesday.

Gregg, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, unleashed an attack on budget reconciliation, pledging to use parliamentary procedure to block Democrats from using such a maneuver to pass a health bill.

"They can do it, but it certainly would be a destruction of the legislative process in the Senate," Gregg said during an interview on Fox News. "The purpose of reconciliation is to control the deficits and bring the budgets and spending in line."

We've done this dance before.  Republicans frequently used reconciliation to pass conservative legislation under President Bush.  They even fired two Senate parliamentarians who objected to their application of the procedure.  And, no, huge tax cuts for the rich don't "control the deficits." Sadly, such glaring hypocrisy is par for the GOP course.

Still, the fact that Gregg has been saying this stuff for six months now is pretty bold.  He was perhaps the most forceful Republican champion of "majority rules" just a few years ago.  His previous arguments in favor of reconciliation are well known.  He was even mocked by The Daily Show.  Gregg's complete reversal has been documented here, here, here, here, here, here, and even here