GOP warns Reid of reconciliation range war 

Senate Republicans sent a letter Wednesday to Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., warning him they will block efforts to try to pass a health care bill using budget reconciliation, which would require just 51 votes for passage instead of the usual 60 votes.

Republicans warned Reid that if they try to use the reconciliation process, the GOP would block any provisions in the legislation that violate a rule authored by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., that prohibits its use for the creation of policy.

"As it takes 60 votes to waive the Byrd Rule, we can ensure that any provision that trips the Byrd Rule will be stripped from the bill, which will require that the bill be sent back to the House for further consideration and additional votes," the letter states.

The letter was signed by all 41 Republicans, who called on Reid to drop the current plan in favor of a bipartisan "step-by-step approach" to cutting health care costs.

Senate Democrats have all but resigned themselves to using 51 votes to pass a health care bill because they no longer have a 60-vote supermajority needed to stop Republicans from blocking the legislation.

No response yet from Reid's office.

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