Issue Report ● Health Care
For Immediate Release: 
March 5, 2010
Contact Info: 

Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130

Republicans claim that even though they used reconciliation in the past, it was not to pass partisan legislation. However, the facts confirm that under Republican-controlled Congresses, reconciliation was not limited to bipartisan bills and many of the reconciliation bills passed with thin margins and along partisan lines, including: the 1995 Balanced Budget Act, 2001 & 2003 tax cuts, 2005 Deficit Reduction Act and 2006 Tax Relief Extensions.
From the Associated Press:
When House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., argued that Republicans had used the same fast-track process to enact major legislation along partisan lines when they were in charge of Congress, Cantor denied it. "There was, in the main, bipartisan support for what was being done through reconciliation in those instances," he said.
Of the 10 occasions between 1995 and 2005 when Republicans were in the Senate majority and used reconciliation to pass bills, seven passed with deep partisan divisions.
In 2005, for example, Republicans used reconciliation to muscle through a deficit reduction bill that restricted Medicaid payments. It passed with 50 Republicans in favor, all Democrats against and Vice President Dick Cheney voting to break a tie — about as divisive as a Senate vote can get.  [3/5/2010]
From Ezra Klein, Washington Post:
“The Sunlight Foundation released a great graphic this morning showing the partisan breakdown of recent reconciliation votes. It's a bit big to repost here, but take a look for yourself. Contrary to what some Republicans are saying, those blue and red bars don't overlap very often. But it's interesting to note that they overlapped a lot more frequently in the Clinton years than in the Bush years.”  [3/4/2010]