(Bloomberg Politics) — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Friday he’s open to eliminating the Senate’s 60-vote threshold if it helps Congress repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and enact “free-market oriented” health care reforms.
Appearing on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, the former Florida governor was asked if he’d support invoking the “Reid rule”—also known as the “nuclear option”—to nix the legislative filibuster to replace PPACA.
At first, Bush said his focus was coming up with a health care plan that Republicans can unify behind.
“I think we Republicans first need to unify behind the replacement,” he said. “If there’s unity there, we can act. Right now, though, for the last few years we’ve been organized against Obamacare… But there hasn’t been any kind of unity about what the alternative is and that’s what my focus is.”
Hewitt pressed Bush, pointing out that Republicans are unlikely to get 60 Senate to defeat a filibuster if Democrats stick together and block efforts to repeal PPACA, as they have done for years. “At that point,” Hewitt said, “would you at least be open to making the argument that on this issue, before it gets its tentacles too deep, that we break the filibuster and ram through a repeal and replacement?”