In response to Matthew DoBias' "Healthcare reform on President-elect Obama's radar":
Contrary to DoBias assertion that sixty votes are often needed to pass legislation in the Senate, this is seldom the case. Any legislation other than a few rare examples, such as constitutional amendments and veto overrides, passes with a simple majority.
Sixty votes are needed (even if not all 100 members are in the chamber, which is usually the case), however, to end debate if a filibuster is threatened or in progress, which usually means that 60 votes can be required to bring a measure to a vote, but not to pass it. Such cloture votes are not normally required except for controversial legislation, which healthcare reform no doubt will be. Conference report legislation is exempt from being subject to cloture rules. That is, the conference report is privileged and can always be brought to the floor for debate. Once on the floor under consideration, though, it is subject to cloture rules.
Michael MundorffProject managerPrimary Childrens Medical CenterSalt Lake CityTo submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title, company and hometown.
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