Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, today commented on the Byrd Rule points of order that will send the Senate reconciliation bill back to the House of Representatives.
"The Byrd Rule exists for a reason -- to prohibit extraneous provisions from being included in a reconciliation bill, a fiscal policy tool that enjoys privileged status in the Senate. A reconciliation bill should not be used as a vehicle for non-budgetary matters, so it is entirely appropriate that these two Pell Grant provisions be stricken from the bill.
"This bill already represents a purely political exercise, having been used to buy House votes for the Democrats' new health care law. It makes bad health care policy worse, adding more spending, taxes, gimmicks and debt to the new health care law without insuring any more people. It has leapfrogged over the Senate committees of jurisdiction, and is being used to add provisions that might not have passed if the normal 60 votes were required. Now that is it going back to the House for further consideration, I can only hope that our House colleagues will comprehend the magnitude of the fiscal trauma this bill will inflict on the nation and future generations before casting another vote to approve it."