Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

 :: Main :: Politics

Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by TexasBlue on Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:28 am

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

By Orrin Hatch
Washington Post
Tuesday, March 2, 2010


America's Founders gave us a system of governance designed to limit government power and maximize liberty. The legislative branch is different from the executive, and the Senate is different from the House. No single branch has all the power. That can be frustrating for those with ambitious agendas, but everyone benefits by respecting those checks and balances even as we fight over policies.

While the House is designed for action, the Senate is designed for deliberation. That is why Senate rules and procedures give a minority of senators the power to slow or even stop legislation. Both parties do it when in the minority, and both find it frustrating when they are in the majority. But such checks are central to the nature of the institution and to the Senate's place in our constitutional system. These rules temper majority power and generate strong incentives to develop mainstream legislation that commands broad, bipartisan support.

To impose the will of some Democrats and to circumvent bipartisan opposition, President Obama seems to be encouraging Congress to use the "reconciliation" process, an arcane budget procedure, to ram through the Senate a multitrillion-dollar health-care bill that raises taxes, increases costs and cuts Medicare to fund a new entitlement we can't afford. This is attractive to proponents because it sharply limits debate and amendments to a mere 20 hours and would allow passage with only 51 votes (as opposed to the 60 needed to overcome a procedural hurdle). But the Constitution intends the opposite process, especially for a bill that would affect one-sixth of the American economy.

This use of reconciliation to jam through this legislation, against the will of the American people, would be unprecedented in scope. And the havoc wrought would threaten our system of checks and balances, corrode the legislative process, degrade our system of government and damage the prospects of bipartisanship.

Less than a year ago, the longest-serving member of the Senate, West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd, said, "I was one of the authors of the legislation that created the budget 'reconciliation' process in 1974, and I am certain that putting health-care reform . . . legislation on a freight train through Congress is an outrage that must be resisted." Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, also a Democrat, said last March, "I don't believe reconciliation was ever intended for the purpose of writing this kind of substantive reform legislation." They are both right.

Reconciliation was designed to balance the federal budget. Both parties have used the process, but only when the bills in question stuck close to dealing with the budget. In instances in which other substantive legislation was included, the legislation had significant bipartisan support. For example, Congress used reconciliation to carry welfare reform in 1996, which ultimately passed with 78 votes. And when reconciliation was used to create the Children's Health Insurance Program that I authored with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in 1997, the program got 85 votes and served as the glue to passing the first balanced budget in 40 years. Both plans were negotiated with, and signed into law by, President Bill Clinton.

But when President George W. Bush and Congress created the prescription drug benefit in 2003, we Republicans in the Senate decided against using reconciliation because it would have made the plan partisan and condemned this important legislation to failure. Instead, the bill garnered significant bipartisan support -- demonstrating why reconciliation was not even attempted. That precedent should carry the day here.

Rejected at first by a majority of senators as an inappropriate way to pass health care, reconciliation was revived after Scott Brown's Senate victory in January. Confronted with the inconvenient truth of an electoral rebuke, the president is pivoting to this tactic that polls show a growing majority of the American people oppose. Some of my colleagues, and others, have wrongly argued that using reconciliation to change only parts of this enormously unpopular bill would not be an abuse of the process. But if the only way to pass this $2.5 trillion bill is through reconciliation, then this continues to be an abuse that stifles dissent and badly undermines our constitutional checks and balances.

The president said in his State of the Union address that "we were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions. So let's show the American people we can do it together." I agree. Poll after poll tells us that is what Americans want. To do that we must start by taking the reconciliation procedure off the table. Let's move forward instead with bipartisan legislation that doesn't abuse the Senate's rules but that does address the challenges our country faces.

The writer is a Republican senator from Utah.
TexasBlue
TexasBlue

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Admin210


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by BubbleBliss on Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:05 pm

It's funny though that Republicans are now throwing a hissy fit over the Democrats threatening to use Reconciliation. However, the Republicans have made several huge decisions and pressed them through with Reconciliation. Since 1995, Republicans have pushed everything from the Contract with America, to welfare reform, to tax cuts targeted at the rich, to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, using reconciliation. Republican leaders even fired successive Senate parliamentarians who disagreed with their use of reconciliation.

Though now they're against Reconciliation? Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. When you do something and justify it, you better be ready to have the other side do the same thing.
I'm not saying that I agree with reconciliation, but the Repubs. had it coming.
BubbleBliss
BubbleBliss

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Junmem10


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by TexasBlue on Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:24 pm

Every use of reconciliation by the GOP was budget related. This bill isn't a budget bill. It's an entitlement bill.

That said, if they use this, they're going to be in worse shape come November than they were to start with. One part of me wants them to do it so i can come back and say "I told ya so"
TexasBlue
TexasBlue

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Admin210


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by TexasBlue on Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:47 pm

I want to add, the reason this is even coming to a head is that there's no willingness to compromise by Dems. The Senate isn't broken. It's doing the function the Founders intended. The filibuster is serving its purpose of protecting the rights of the minority in Congress. That can (or should) force a compromise. The GOP was tagged the Party Of No because Dem leaders shut them out of legislation. Why would anyone vote for something you're not allowed to add amendments to? If it were me, i'd vote 'No', too.

The Party Of No excuse is bogus. Until last month, Dems had a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate to go with their House super majority. They couldn't accomplish anything because they couldn't get moderate Dems to sign on. You see, when you have a 60 vote majority in the Senate, you can pass legislation at will if all your party's members are on board with it.
TexasBlue
TexasBlue

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Admin210


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by BubbleBliss on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:32 pm

Drilling in a wildlife refugee is not budget related. Tax cuts for the rich aren't really budget related either. The other 2 incidents were still important decisions that should be discussed by both parties, as is this HC bill.
BubbleBliss
BubbleBliss

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Junmem10


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by TexasBlue on Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:20 pm

BubbleBliss wrote:Drilling in a wildlife refugee is not budget related. Tax cuts for the rich aren't really budget related either. The other 2 incidents were still important decisions that should be discussed by both parties, as is this HC bill.

Funny how you brought that up. Ya know what? That reconciliation was part of a budget bill. That's the key, Bubs. If it's part of a budget bill, it's fair game. That's the difference whether you agree with that particular reconciliation or not. This HC bill has nothing to do with a budget. It's not part of a budget bill. It's an entitlement bill. Even the man who "invented" reconciliation, Robert Byrd (D) is against using it for this. He was the man who pioneered it way back when (70's). It's for budgets and budgets only. So, if you tag this HC bill into a budget bill, then it has wings for reconciliation.
TexasBlue
TexasBlue

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Admin210


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by BubbleBliss on Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:22 pm

Does it really matter though? A bill is a bill and should be discussed by both parties, not pushed through by a single party.
BubbleBliss
BubbleBliss

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Junmem10


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by TexasBlue on Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:09 pm

Budget bills are different. If they're not passed, gov't can shut down and that ain't good. Bush tried this sh!t over not being able to get his judges confirmed. There was 14 Senators that intervened to get a compromise going. So, Bush and the GOP were wrong then and the DNC is wrong now.
TexasBlue
TexasBlue

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Admin210


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by BubbleBliss on Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:01 am

Well the whole point of the 2 party system is to have debates and a joint effort. Why you would even allow such a thing as reconciliation is beyond me....
BubbleBliss
BubbleBliss

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Junmem10


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by TexasBlue on Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:09 pm

Reconciliation is for budgets only. Budgets have to be passed when they're brought up. You also have to remember that it isn't always with one party controlling everything like it is now. It happened under Clinton with a GOP congress.
TexasBlue
TexasBlue

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Admin210


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by BubbleBliss on Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:53 pm

If it's only for budgets, how come the Democrats could potentially use it?
BubbleBliss
BubbleBliss

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Junmem10


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by TexasBlue on Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:54 pm

Because they're in the majority and they can change the rules. What they're going to risk is losing lots of seats this fall and the GOP can use procedures to shut down the Senate if they pass this. Thew arrogance of that party is astounding to me. I thought the GOP were arrogant during the Bush years. This bunch takes the cake.
TexasBlue
TexasBlue

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Admin210


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by BubbleBliss on Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:31 pm

Well we'll see what happens....
BubbleBliss
BubbleBliss

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Junmem10


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by TexasBlue on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:35 pm

Yeah, it's going to be interesting.
TexasBlue
TexasBlue

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Admin210


Back to top Go down

Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process Empty Re: Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 :: Main :: Politics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum