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Reconciliation May Create Irreconcilable Differences

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 30, 2009 11:00 AM |

Will the Democratic Congress supported by the Obama administration use a process known as “reconciliation” to pass health care legislation? Reconciliation allows for passing legislation by a simple majority in the Senate instead of the standard 60 vote margin. In so doing, Obama and the Democrats will likely pass this legislation without real debate.

The process has never been used to pass new legislation of the magnitude of health care reform. By all measures, the reconciliation process was never intended to be used in this manner. Obama and the Democratic leadership maintain that the Bush administration used reconciliation to pass tax legislation. The Republicans respond by claiming that in those cases reconciliation was used to renew existing legislation and not of the magnitude or importance of health care reform.

Are Obama and the Democrats forgoing any form of debate on this issue and jeopardizing any sort of honest bipartisan politics moving forward? I believe so.

The UPI provides further color on this topic, Dems to Use Reconcilation For Healthcare.

Is there any doubt that Obama is hellbent on passing this legislation regardless of future risks to political procedures. Will this healthcare legislation be written in the same manner as the Economic Stimulus bill jammed through Congress? The UPI reports,

Even though Republican leaders have warned Democrats against using the tactic and others say it may hinder future legislation where bipartisan consensus is needed, Obama Thursday reiterated his support for the move in a meeting with congressional leaders, White House and Capitol Hill sources told the Times.

The president and his congressional allies believe using the budget reconciliation process to pass healthcare reform may be the only way to implement measures that have eluded lawmakers for years, the newspaper said.

Given Arlen Specter’s switch of parties, I honestly believe the only real check on Democratic spending at this juncture may be polls from currently controlled Democratic states showing significant voter unrest.

I view the use of the reconciliation process as just another step towards our political process in Washington being totally out of control….and it will be expensive to clean up!!


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