In sharply worded comments Tuesday night following the loss of former Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) Senate seat, the former chairman of the Democratic Party asserted that party leaders needed to bypass their quest for sixty Senate votes.
“We’ve got to be tougher. I’ve said the Democrats are not tough enough. Bush would have had the health care bill done a long time ago. He would have gone through reconciliation.”
Under reconciliation, Democrats can move to pass parts of the healthcare reform bill with a simple fifty vote majority, sidestepping the need for a 60-vote filibuster-proof supermajority. Liberals lost their sixtieth vote with the defeat of state attorney general Martha Coakley in Massachusetts to Republican Scott Brown.
Brown has promised to vote against a healthcare reform bill. The bill has passed both chambers of Congress but would need to pass both again after the House and Senate versions are combined.