Eighty Votes or Nothing
Good catch by Matthew Yglesias: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), the key Republican players in the Senate’s health care tussle, are telling reporters that a health care bill that fails to get 75 to 80 votes will, in Enzi’s words, “fail because the American people will have no confidence in it.”
By that standard, what else do the American people have no confidence in? Well, Chief Justice John Roberts only got 78 votes for confirmation, so it’s not clear whether or not President George W. Bush should have nominated him. The 2003 ban on “partial-birth abortion” only got 64 votes. The 2001 Bush tax cut only got 58 votes, and the 2003 Bush tax cut only got 50 votes, with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the tiebreaker; surely, Enzi or Grassley will work on repealing all of this, because such partisan legislation has no right being passed by the Senate.
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