Reconciliation for healthcare would be 'swiss cheese' event

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, on Wednesday shot down one option being considered by Democratic leaders on the healthcare bill: Reconciliation.

At a morning GOP press conference, Gregg noted that the controversial legislative tactic — which would allow a bill to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes — shouldn't be considered by Democrats because large parts of the bill would be ruled irrelevant by the Senate parliamentarian and that the effort would still require 60 votes at some point during the process under a rule established by former Democratic leader Robert Byrd (W. Va.).

The result, Gregg said, would be "a Swiss cheese event."

“Reconciliation would be an extremely difficult lift,” he said. “Remember, anything that’s more weighted toward policy rather than budgetary activity is subject to the Byrd rule and has to get 60 votes to stay in the bill… It would end up being a Swiss cheese event. Whatever went to the floor would end up coming out looking like Swiss cheese.”