Open Thread - Ridiculously Shrill Republicans on Reconciliation
The GOP is in full freak out mode because the Democratic party is going to use the budgetary process of reconciliation. But they are only harping on this because it is the Democratic party using reconciliation, and using it to fix healthcare if they do it right, and not the Republicans that use reconciliation far more often and to do things like mess the budget up by drowning the nation in debts with their Ronnie Reagan trickle-down voodoo tax cuts for the uber rich.
The GOP tried THE BIG LIE about reconciliation being the "Nuclear Option" in order to muddy the waters of the debate. But the little fact that the "Nuclear Option" was a Republican attempt to eliminate the filibuster altogether so they could ram through far right wing activist judges was just a little too fresh in everyone's memory and the fact reconciliation is a simple budget fix more often used by Republicans is clearly apparent. And as hard as it would be to believe that there were even more right wing extremist judges than the five GOP SCOTUS activist judges that handed election funding over to foreign owned corporations and their lobbyists recently, and as much as Bush's Alito and Roberts appointments deserved to be Borked
back to the typically extremist torture loving Federalist Society rocks these criminals crawl out from under, none of that had anything to do with budgetary issues and reconciliation as Healthcare Reform does.
More often used by the GOP than the Democratic party, as well. Though reconciliation is used to get around filibusters it has nothing to do with going nuclear on political appointees by completely eliminating the filibuster. Not even the Heritage Foundation can coherently make an argument for this stupidity.
A small part of Healthcare Reform is a simple budgetary issue and it will pass through reconciliation. Get over it.
While in the majority the GOP abused reconciliation to kick the poor and middle class just as the GOP have always abused the filibuster to kick Americans when they were in the minority. Just look at what Bunning was doing to the unemployed and Medicare with his recent filibuster.
The GOP claimed reconciliation should never be used for Healthcare Reform. Even though Republicans used reconciliation for Healthcare Reform often and the GOP used it to cut things like Medicare and Medicaid.
The Republicans will act as though they have never used reconciliation to get what they wanted when they could not get past the Democratic minority. Which, of course, is complete hogwash.
Reconciliation have been used 22 times, 19 times it has not received a presidential veto (reconciliation fun fact, President Clinton is the only president to have vetoed a reconciliation bill). Of those 19 times, can you guess which party was in control of the United States Senate for 14 of them? I will give you three guesses but you will only need one. That is
right, the Republican Party.
The Brookings Institution
was kind enough to put together a list of the bills that were passed using reconciliation, you can find it here. Here is a look at the top ten Republican usages:
1981 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act: This act made major spending cuts into social programs including welfare and food stamps.
1982 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act: This act reauthorized the welfare and food stamps cuts as well as making changes to the federal pay grades.
1985 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act: This act actually did something good, it created the COBRA program. While COBRA is a often not affordable it is a good idea. And look at that, the Republicans where the ones that used reconciliation to create it.
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act: This is the act that ended welfare. Enough said.
Balanced Budget Act of 1997:
This act was the first step of the Clinton Administration to balance the budget. It also included the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997: Clinton era tax cuts that were passed by the Republicans in the Senate using reconciliation.
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001: President Bush’s first round of tax cuts for the wealthy.
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003: President Bush’s second round of tax cuts for the wealthy.
Deficit Reduction Act of 2005: Made cuts to Medicaid and Medicare spending, as well as student loan programs.
Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005: Extended Bush Administration tax cuts including cuts on capital gains. It also included a temporary alternative minimum tax fix.
As you can see Republicans have not been shy about using this method of passing bills that could not beat a 60 vote threshold. They are not even consistent in their objections about creating health care programs as both COBRA and CHIP (not to be confused with SCHIP, which is a state program and created by Democrats) were created under their use of reconciliation.
This is a rule the Senate put in place and is allowed to use or abuse it just like the filibuster.
Now? Republicans want to complain about the Parliamentarian because they say he will side with Harry Reid when it comes to deciding what is and what is not allowed to go through reconciliation.
Did I mention that the Parliamentarian the GOP is complaining about was a Bush hire? Even More even shriller Republicans Below The Fold...
Frumin was elevated to the post by Republican leadership in 2001, in part because he had a reputation for adhering to institutional mores rather than personal ideology. At the time, Majority Leader Trent Lott said he was confident Frumin could do the job, having known him for many years.
"It's going to be pretty hard for anybody to be too critical of it," Lott said of the appointment.
For Republicans to now raise concerns that Democratic leadership has compromised Frumin's objectivity is even more peculiar considering the GOP's antics leading up to his hiring.
In May 2001, Republican leadership fired Frumin's predecessor, Robert Dove, after he issued a series of rulings that complicated their efforts to pass aspects of the Bush tax cuts and budget proposals through reconciliation. Dove had decided it was inappropriate for money intended for natural disaster relief to be considered through budgetary
rules -- and he was summarily axed.
Here's a report from MSNBC's "First Read," the content of which you might already be familiar with:
Vice President Joe Biden could play a bigger role when it comes to the health-care process going forward than most people previously understood.
Former Senate parliamentarian of 37 years Robert Dove said on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown that the vice president, who also functions as the president of the Senate, can override the parliamentarian when it comes to what qualifies under reconciliation.
"The parliamentarian only can advise," Dove said. "It is the vice president who rules."
That news went blazing around the Twitter-sphere this morning:
NEWS to a lot of folks today RT @angieholan ex-sen parliamentarian says Biden could have role in deciding whether reconciliation is a go
Yay, you! You're pretty well-informed, for a Dirty F-ing Hippie!
I tried to find some shrill harp music to accompany this post but... Nothing short of a classroom full of kindergartners watching the scariest horror movie with harmonicas strapped to their mouths screeching into a miked up 2000 watt amplifier and given looping echo, distortion and chorus effects could recreate the kind of harping shrillness the GOP have unleashed in the last week.