Senator Judd Gregg is outraged that the Obama Administration would even consider using the reconciliation process. During reconciliation, of course, filibusters are not possible, making it possible to move major pieces of legislation with a simple majority vote.
As Gregg just told the Washington Post,
That would be the Chicago approach to governing: Strong-arm it through. You're talking about the exact opposite of bipartisan. You're talking about running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River.
Whew, tough words there. It's a good thing Gregg has been so consistent in his opposition to such use of reconciliation--that he never supported such a move back when he was in charge of the Budget Commitee and Republicans controlled the Senate.
Here's a 2005 Associated Press article about the debate over whether to allow Arctic oil drilling, a measure Senate Republicans were pushing at the time:
Republican leaders indicated Tuesday that they plan to press the issue of drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as part of a so-called budget reconciliation process, which cannot be subject to a Democratic filibuster--a tactic that has blocked the refuge's development in the past. ...
Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H. said it was reasonable to assume ANWR, as the refuge is commonly called, would be part of the budget measure.
"The president asked for it, and we're trying to do what the president asked for," Gregg said Tuesday after meeting privately with Republicans on his panel.
By the way, here's Kevin Drum quickly dispatching the merits of Gregg's new argument.