Sunday, August 2, 2009

Desperate Dems Consider Dirty Tricks-Updated

From the New York Times:

With bipartisan health care negotiations teetering, Democrats are talking reluctantly — and very, very quietly — about exploiting a procedural loophole they planted in this year’s budget to skirt Republican filibusters against a health care overhaul.

They are talking reluctantly because using the tactic, officially known as reconciliation, would present a variety of serious procedural and substantive obstacles that could result in a piecemeal health bill. And they are whispering because the mere mention of reconciliation touches partisan nerves and could be viewed as a threat by the three Republicans still engaged in the delicate talks, causing them to collapse.

Basically reconciliation can be defined as “dirty pool” which is why Dems are considering the process on the down low. Reconciliation is also known as the “nuclear option” and is employed when the majority in Congress wants to shut the minority party out of the legislative process. It is a bully tactic and the Dems are considering it because they know that they can’t pass their unpopular agenda without resorting to cheap tricks.

Update-WyBlog has picked up on this:

But of course this is objective reporting; any allusion to warm fuzzy feelings percolating up into the reader's brain is purely intentional coincidental.

Even then "reconciliation" is subject to yet another obscure Senate rule — the Byrd Rule. It can be used by any Senator like a line-item veto to strip individual provisions from a spending bill.

Not to worry though, the Democrats have a way around that too. The Times calls it "advanced legislative acrobatics" using "an unusual two-track approach". "Unusual" because it's never been done before. "Acrobatic", implying deftness and skill will be used to achieve normally insurmountable goals.

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