I can use reconciliation, but you can't

I find the caution on the part of the Democrats to be sad and the hypocrisy on the part of the Republicans par for the course.

From TPM:

Republicans are doing everything they can to convince the media and the public that using the budget reconciliation process to finish health care would be a grave crime against democracy.

But reconciliation is part of the Senate rules. And there’s perhaps no better person to make that point than Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)–the Senate Republicans’ top budget guy–who vociferously defended the use of reconciliation when his party tried to use it in 2005 to allow drilling in Alaska.

“The representation by the Senator from Massachusetts that somehow that this is outside the rules–to proceed within the rules–is a very unique view of the rules,” Gregg said on the Senate floor back when he was part of the majority. “We are using the rules of the Senate here, that’s what they are senator. Reconciliation is a rule of the Senate set up under the Budget Act. It has been used before for purposes exactly like this on numerous occasions.”

Gregg went on, “Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don’t think so.”

Unsurprisingly, Gregg feels differently about things these days. Last year he compared the majority-rules vote to “running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River.”

Republicans have also advanced the meme that reconciliation amounts to the “nuclear option”–a term that came to fame when Republicans tried to change the Senate rules regarding the minority’s right to obstruct judicial nominations. But the “nuclear option” was a threat to change the rules. As Gregg pointed out very publicly, reconciliation is already part of the rules.

  • GregoryJ

    Politicians pretty much define two faced self serving lying sacks of uselessness.

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  • askcherlock

    I saw McCain on Meet The Press this morning. He is obviously opposed to Reconciliation as a means of getting Health Care through. But as the moderator so aptly pointed out, McCain has himself voted in favor of Reconciliation acts for legislation the GOP wanted.

  • Wayside1

    I guess you never heardf of Senator Byrd of West Virgina.  He pretty much wrote the Reconciliation Rule and has said it is NOT for this type of legsislation.

  • ecthompson

    Where did he say that? Please send me the link.

    Thanks for your comments. 

  • Joe White

    Government interference in the health care market is the very thing that has caused health care (and by extension health insurance) to become so expensive.

    Medicare doesnt pay full cost for services and so medical providers recoup the difference by shifting the cost to everybody else.

    Get government out of the health care business entirely.

  • MH

    On the Sunday talk show the reconciliation process would pass portions of the bill and get rid of sections of it ( like the Nebraska deal) This is what is being stated on Sunday and on NPR today. But the Republicans are making it sound like it is a sneaky trick. They also pointed out that the Bush tax cuts to the rich people which added up to 1.7 Trillion dollars and expire next year was passed by this process. Bush also projected that their was going to be a winfall of excess in the budget so that the budget could give back to the wealthy people. However, we all know those amounts did not come to be and the deficit is huge because of it.  So for the Republicans to state that because of the government interferance the costs will go up they were wrong before. NOBODY knows what will happen in the future. We can only go by what has happened and is happening NOW. The cost go up every year 15% to 39% on people’s premiums because there is NO competition.

    I always wnder who owns the insurance giants, Are they US citizens? Or do they demand huge profits because they can and don’t live here.

    The Republicans wanted to extend those tax cuts and are attaching it to every bill hoping to get it through.

  • MH

    Joe,

    I know you won’t read this article in Huffington Post. But when you look at the other countries and how they have the government involved the price of coverage goes down… Coverage goes up people go when they are healthy and how can you say that getting gevernment involved would make it worse when the other countries have it and it works…. People live longer and are healthier than we are. The stock holders of the insurance companies, hospitals and prescriptions are the only ones who should be determining healthcare for everyone in the US. Maybe they know this is their last stand for getting what they want not what is best for people.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-kuttner/the-cure-that-dares-not-s_b_480130.html

  • Joe White

    MH,

    Yes, I read it. But simply claiming that folks in other countries have it better doesnt make it so.

    An interesting read for you

    U.S. Cancer Care Is Number One

    http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba596

  • Joe White

    Here’s where Sen Conrad said it

    http://maggiesnotebook.blogspot.com/2010/03/democrat-kent-conrad-byrd-rule.html

    Here’s a reference to Byrd objecting to a similar attempt with Hillarycare in ’93

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconciliation_%28United_States_Congress%29

    And finally heres Byrd saying it now

    http://i.usatoday.net/news/pdf/byrdletter.pdf

  • MH

    If you notice the people had a choice. Maybe we do more educating about screening. There are more problems than cancer. Harmfull things that people never know about because they don’t go. Like High Blood Pressure and heart disease. It is true you can’t force people to go but we could give them an affordable choice.