Reconciliation

Time for Democratic leadership to hear its angry constituents

Daily Kos Yesterday: "Yes I'm Angry...angry at the Democratic leadership -- and yes, even some of our fellow “progressives”..."

Angry Mouse speaks for many (You Sure Are Angry) as a featured writer on the front page of the Internet's largest progressive forum, Daily Kos, where the mission is, specifically, to help elect Democrats. She's angry:

...Angry at a two-party system that favors corporations over people; angry at a justice system that most severely punishes those who are least able to fight back; angry at the media who refuses to call a lie a lie; angry at a health care system that allows private corporations to profit by allowing the sick to suffer and die; angry at the terrorists who want to deprive women of our reproductive autonomy; angry at the misogynists who want us to know our place; angry at the Democratic leadership -- and yes, even some of our fellow “progressives” -- for treating women's rights as a fringe issue; angry at anyone who feels the need to question whether it’s really necessary to be so angry.

This is another loud shout in a growing and louder trend of unhappiness and, dare I say -- distrust -- with the inability of Democrats to get it together.

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.

Reconciliation Usage – Republicans 14, Democrats 5

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...

Reconciliation with McCain's Nuclear Addled Brain

Last year, speaking at the Heritage Foundation,
Sen. John McCain said that the Republicans laid the groundwork for reconciliation because of how they had used it:

MCCAIN: I fully recognize that Republicans have in the past engaged in using reconciliation to further the party’s agenda. I wish it had not been done then, and I hope it will not be done now that the groundwork has been laid.

But now that reconciliation, a simple up or down vote, is actually going to be used to pass a mish-mash of conservative GOP and Democratic ideas under Obama's watch? Suddenly it is the nuclear end of the world:

Nobody is Buying the Democratic Party Ruse on Reconciliation

A little summing up of the sitch from Glenn Greenwald:

Progressives:  We want a public option!

Democrats/WH:  We
agree with you totally!  Unfortunately, while we have 50 votes for it,
we just don't have 60, so we can't have it.  Gosh darn that filibuster
rule.  

Progressives:  But you can use reconciliation like Bush did so often, and then you only need 50 votes.

Filbuster reform advocates/Obama loyalists:  Hey progressives, don't be stupid!  Be pragmatic.  It's not realistic or Serious to use reconciliation to pass health care reformNone of this their fault.  It's the fault of the filibuster.  The White House wishes so badly that it could pass all these great progressive bills, but they're powerless, and they just can't get 60 votes to do it.  

[Month later]

Progressives:  Hey,
great!  Now that you're going to pass the bill through reconciliation
after all, you can include the public option that both you and we love,
because you only need 50 votes, and you've said all year you have that!

Democrats/WH:
 No.  We don't have 50 votes for that (look at Jay Rockefeller). 
Besides, it's not the right time for the public option.  The public
option only polls at 65%, so it might make our health care bill --
which polls at 35% -- unpopular.  Also, the public option and
reconciliation are too partisan, so we're going to go ahead and pass
our industry-approved bill instead . . . on a strict party line vote.

Just a very serious and pragmatic view of reality. We get it and we aren't gonna just roll over on it. Dems better deal with their problems now or they will pay the price in the voting booth. Because we do get it.

Rep. Jim Himes On Healthcare Reform and Reconciliation

ePluribus Media - along with Connecticut Bob, Saramerica and AndersonScooper - had an opportunity to sit down and talk to Connecticut Representative Jim Himes and discuss various issues. This first part is on Healthcare Reform and Reconciliation:

Part 2 of the healthcare discussion gets a little more into what can be achieved through reconciliation and is below the fold. I will be posting more video from this as I finish editing and uploading it to YouTube.