Look At How Many Republicans Support Reconciliation!

September 03, 2009 5:12 pm ET

As the debate over health insurance reform continues, it is becoming evident that the issue of reconciliation will be discussed soon.  Anticipating that Republicans will continue to argue against it, Media Matters Action Network has compiled a few quotes and votes of Republicans openly supporting the reconciliation process.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)

Sen. Gregg: "Is There Something Wrong With Majority Rules? I Don't Think So." As reported by the New York Times: "The record is also replete with past statements by Republicans such as Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the party's leader on budget issues, praising the logic of reconciliation. 'We are using the rules of the Senate here,' Mr. Gregg said in 2005 as he fought off Democratic complaints that reconciliation was wrongly being employed to block filibusters against opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. 'Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don't think so.'" [New York Times, 3/29/09]

Sen. Gregg Endorsed The Reconciliation Process To Open Up ANWR For Drilling Because Bush "Asked For It."  As reported by the Associated Press: "Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H. said it was reasonable to assume ANWR, as the refuge is commonly called, would be part of the budget measure. 'The president asked for it, and we're trying to do what the president asked for,' Gregg said Tuesday after meeting privately with Republicans on his panel." [Associated Press, 3/1/05]

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

"I prefer regular order, but recent tax legislative history in the Senate suggests the reconciliation option is an important tool to have at our disposal." [Senate Floor Statement, 4/28/05, emphasis added]

"The reconciliation instruction gives us the resources to maintain current law tax relief." [Senate Floor Statement, 4/28/05]

The Hill:

"Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) defended using reconciliation when pushing President George W. Bush's tax cuts through the upper chamber, but has warned Democrats not to do it in 2009." [The Hill, 4/22/09]

Rep. Paul Ryan

"It's their right. They did win the election... That's what I tell all my constituents who are worried about this. They won the election. They did run on these ideas. They did run on nationalizing health care. So, you're right about that. They have the votes with reconciliation. They nailed down the process so that they can make sure they have the votes and that they can get this thing through really fast. It is their right. It is what they can do. They hold the power, and they're probably going to exercise it.  We don't like it because we don't like what looks like the outcome." [ABC News, 4/23/09]

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

"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." [McCain Speech at Heritage Foundation, 3/26/09]

Senator John McCain: "Yes, it's been a nasty year. But I hope that tomorrow morning sometime when we, we're, we're clear who the winner is, that we start a process of reconciliation so that we'll work together. And by the way, I'm encouraged that what apparently President Bush is succeeding in Florida. I think very it's important."

Peter Jennings: "Everybody else I've talked to tonight is somewhat pessimistic about the possibility of reconciliation, especially in the body to which you belong, the Senate."

Senator John McCain: "Well, Peter, I, I, look we realize that it takes 60 votes to do business in the Senate without the other party. And so, we're, we're going to have to, and led by President Bush, I'm sure that he's got a very busy agenda for his second term. And I think that one of the first things he's gonna do is reach out to the Democrats. And not just with a couple of cabinet appointments. But with some specific plans for working together. The way that he worked with Ted Kennedy on the No Child Left Behind Act."

Peter Jennings: "That is a matter of huge speculation you just raised. Whether or not, if President Bush is re-elected, he will -as they say, govern more towards the center. Or whether he will continue, as he has for these last four years, to appeal largely to his conservative base. What do you really think?"

Senator John McCain: "I really think that every president in his second term has wanted to have a legacy. I think that means working together with the other side on national security issues, as well as domestic issues. So I'm confident he'll do that." [ABC, Special Report with Peter Jennings, 11/2/04]

Pro-Reconciliation Votes

2001: Senate Used Reconciliation Bill That Alleviated The Marriage Tax Penalty 

HR 4810: "A bill to provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 103(a)(1) of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2001. Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000"

"Vote to adopt a conference report on a bill that would provide $89.8 billion over the next five years in tax relief for married couples."

The following Republicans voted in favor of using reconciliation to pass tax relief for married couples:

Abraham (R-MI)
Allard (R-CO)
Ashcroft (R-MO)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Campbell (R-CO)
Chafee, L. (R-RI)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeWine (R-OH)
Domenici (R-NM)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fitzgerald (R-IL)
Frist (R-TN)
Gorton (R-WA)
Gramm (R-TX)
Grams (R-MN)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Helms (R-NC)
Hutchinson (R-AR)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Jeffords (R-VT)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Mack (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nickles (R-OK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Roth (R-DE)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-NH)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thompson (R-TN)
Thurmond (R-SC)
Warner (R-VA)

[Project Vote Smart, accessed 9/8/09; Vote #226, 7/21/00]

2001 & 2003: Senate Passed President Bush's Tax Cuts Using Reconciliation 

HR 1836: "To provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 104 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2002." 

"Vote to adopt a conference report that would institute $1.35 trillion in tax cuts over an 11-year period." Highlights of the Bill include creating "a 10% tax bracket that applies retroactively to 2001 and provides immediate tax rebates for individuals who fall within the 10% range."

Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Breaux (D-LA)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Campbell (R-CO)
Carnahan (D-MO)
Cleland (D-GA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeWine (R-OH)
Ensign (R-NV)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Fitzgerald (R-IL)
Frist (R-TN)
Gramm (R-TX)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Helms (R-NC)
Hutchinson (R-AR)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Jeffords (R-VT)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
McConnell (R-KY)
Miller (D-GA)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-NE)
Nickles (R-OK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-NH)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thompson (R-TN)
Thurmond (R-SC)
Torricelli (D-NJ)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)

[Project Vote Smart, accessed 9/8/09; Vote #170, 5/26/01]

H.R. 2: "(Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 )...To provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 201 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2004."

"Vote to adopt a conference report that would provide $350 billion in order to supply tax breaks."

The following Republicans voted in favor of using reconciliation to pass tax credits:

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Campbell (R-CO)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fitzgerald (R-IL)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nickles (R-OK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)

[Project Vote Smart, accessed 9/8/09; Vote #196, 5/23/03]

2005: Republicans Used Reconciliation To Enact Cuts In Medicare, Medicaid And Student Loans

S. 1932: "An original bill to provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 202(a) of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2006 (H. Con. Res. 95)."

"This bill cut nearly $40 billion over five years from the federal budget by imposing substantial changes on welfare, child support and student lending programs. The Washington Post reported that this bill represented 'the first effort in nearly a decade to try to slow the growth of entitlement programs, one that will be felt by millions of Americans.'...on Dec. 22, Vice President Dick Cheney had to cast a tie-breaking vote to secure its passage. Senate Democrats won some minor changes, forcing the House to vote on the new version on Feb. 1, 2006. It passed 216 to 214. The president signed the bill into law on Feb. 8, 2006."

The following Republicans voted in favor of using reconciliation to pass these program cuts:

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)

[Washington Post, 109th Congress Votes Database, accessed 9/8/09; Vote #363, 12/21/05]

2006: Senate Republicans Extended Bush Tax Cuts Through Reconciliation

H.R. 4297: Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005

"This bill extended the Bush administration's previously passed tax cuts on dividends and capital gains, and spared about 15 million middle-income Americans from the alternative minimum tax. The Washington Post reported that 'the tax agreement would cut revenue to the Treasury by $90 billion over the next five years, but other measures would raise about $21 billion -- for a net loss to the Treasury of about $69 billion.'"

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dole (R-NC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent  (R-MO)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (R-VA)

[Washington Post, 109th Congress Votes Database, accessed 9/8/09; Vote #118, 5/11/06]

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