In a recent post (AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln Vows to Oppose Passing Health Care Reform Fixes) I described how Blanche Lincoln opposes using reconciliation to pass fixes to the health care bill. This basically means that she opposes passing the health care bill altogether as it is the only way it will pass now.
“If the House chooses not to pass the Senate bill as is, then I will work with my colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, to identify the basic reforms that we can agree on,” she said. “I hope that our efforts going forward will be truly bipartisan, because the high-pitched, partisan tone in Washington is not creating jobs, nor is it solving the health care challenges facing every American, whether it be cost or access.”
Lincoln claims that this stance is due to some commitment to bipartisanship. However, it seems she is only against reconciliation when it doesn’t benefit the rich and big corporations. Lincoln voted for and supported the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in 2001 which only passed because the Republicans used the reconciliation process. It only garnered 53 votes, not enough to withstand a filibuster. Those tax cuts are still in place today and will expire at the end of this year. However, some have been pushing to extend the tax cuts further, despite the record deficit and the fact that the tax cut only benefits the rich. When reconciliation is used merely to fix a damaged bill that would help average Americans and those least among us, it is just not acceptable.
This helps explain my post from earlier today as well (AR-Sen: Donations to Lincoln Average $1,300 per Person). Tax cuts for the wealthy and increase the deficit – pass by any means… Health care for everyone and decrease the deficit – no way, no how…