In a meeting with House Republicans at the White House Thursday, President Obama reminded the minority that the last time he reached out to them, they reacted with zero votes — twice — for his stimulus package. And then he reminded them again. And again. And again.
A GOP source familiar with the meeting said that the president was extremely sensitive — even “thin-skinned” — to the fact that the stimulus bill received no GOP votes in the House. He continually brought it up throughout the meeting.
Obama also offered payback for that goose egg. A major overhaul of the health care system, he told the Republican leadership, would be done using a legislative process known as reconciliation, meaning that the GOP won’t be able to filibuster it.
Congress has until October 15 to pass health care or student lending reform under the normal process. If it doesn’t, reconciliation can be used to eliminate the 60-vote requirement.
Democratic aides said that Obama made clear to the GOP leadership that he would continue to work in a bipartisan way, but that they didn’t have veto power over health care policy. GOP aides, however, said that Obama was pretty clear that reconciliation would be used. “From what was told me, it sounded more like he would almost definitely use reconciliation for healthcare. I don’t think he hedged much,” said one.
via Huffington Post: Obama Repeatedly Reminds House GOP Of Their Zero Stimulus Votes
Seems the GOP only has itself to blame. The president extended the hand of bipartisanship from day one of his still-young administration. The Republicans slapped his hand in response and worked to obstruct anything he tried to do. I suspect he will try to engage both parties, but if reconciliation ends up being the path taken, the GOPpers made this bed. They have no right to whine now.