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KQµårk 死神 On August - 23 - 2009

img0159Again we have another faux member of the Democratic coalition (Senator Joseph Lieberman, (I-Conn.)), today claiming Congress should not use budget reconciliation for universal healthcare reform. Well that is flat out BS perpetrated by Republicans and conservative Democrats who do not want to pass real universal healthcare reform.  The truth is Republicans used budget reconciliation to pass their infamous “Contract with America” before President Clinton vetoed the bill.

Budget reconciliation is a limited process.  However HumanRightPosterDemocrats have every right to split the universal healthcare bills in Congress into two separate bills.  One major piece of legislation which contains most of the regulatory language where 80% of the universal healthcare plan is agreed upon in the Senate by the Democratic coalition and the other bill would contain the more contentious legislation like the public option and tax increases on the rich.  The first bill could probably pass filibuster and the second bill can be crammed through using budget reconciliation.

All we can do is fight the lies and distortions of the truth.  Following  are two good sources showing how mostly Republicans shoved legislation down our throats numerous times using the budget reconciliation process.

A list of instances where reconciliation was implemented:

“Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1980
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981
Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1982
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1983
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993
Balanced Budget Act of 1995 (vetoed)
Personal Responsibility and Budget Reconciliation Act of 1996
Balanced Budget Act of 1997
Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act of 1999 (vetoed)
Marriage Tax Relief Act of 2000 (vetoed)
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003
The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005”

Furthermore Republicans passed a great deal of policy through budget reconciliation.

“Whether reducing or increasing deficits, many of the reconciliation bills made major changes in policy. Health insurance portability (COBRA), nursing home standards, expanded Medicaid eligibility, increases in the earned income tax credit, welfare reform, the state Children’s Health Insurance Program, major tax cuts and student aid reform were all enacted under reconciliation procedures. Health reform 2009 style would be the most ambitious use of reconciliation but it fits a pattern used over three decades by both parties to avoid the strictures of Senate filibusters.”

Written by KQµårk 死神

My PlanetPOV contact is [email protected] Proud Dem whose favorite hobby is cat herding. The GOP is not a political party, it's a personality disorder. Cancer, Heart Failure and Bush Survivor.

18 Responses so far.

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  1. FeedUp says:

    I think Bernie Sanders is A-OK, along with Dennis K. of Ohio and Dick Durbin -- IL (by the way he is from my original hometown). A
    Chicago suburb of working class people that was once a great manufacturing town.

  2. AdLib says:

    So what would happen if a bill is put through reconciliation and some sections like the public option are clearly allowed but others may be questionable?

    Like some contracts, would the sections not appropriate for reconciliation be severable, allowing the other sections to be passed or would the whole bill be disallowed?

    If the former, it could be a great political move for the Dems to put the whole burrito into reconciliation and if the most popular and non-financial aspects are killed, the Repubs take full blame for it and the Dems would be in a powerful position to win a vote on those sections in a new bill.

    I know that the Dems claim that due to the Senate schedule, a second bill on Health Care would have a bit of a delay but with the non-controversial issues the only ones left and everyone seeing that the earth didn’t open and swallow everyone because the public option was passed, public opinion should make this a slam dunk.

    • KQuark says:

      Dems don’t always have the guts but they definitely have the legal minds in congress, the white house and amongst their staffs to legally pass healthcare through the budget reconciliation process.

      The only example I can think of in recent history where an entire bill that Democrats but mostly Republicans worked on that got stricken down by the courts was the Line Item Veto Act of 1996. But there it was clearly stated in the Constitution that vetoing parts of legislation was not allowed.

      • AdLib says:

        The Dems only need to be law abiding, not “polite”. Playing hardball is what’s needed.

        Reminds me of dialog from the movie The Cotton Club, something to the effect of:

        “We don’t want a war.”

        “Then you’ve already lost because you don’t even know you’re in one.”

        This is as much a war as the Dems could be in…and Pres. Obama keeps chasing after the Repubs for bipartisanship?

        Time to call the GOP out for what it is, rally the public and make this a Dem success instead of a bipartisan failure.

  3. KQuark says:

    A couple few developments in the fight for real universal healthcare today.

    First Senate Dems seem to be serious about getting healthcare reform passed using budget reconciliation. Now they are investigating Senate parliamentary rules to determine if the whole bill can pass through the reconciliation process rather than splitting the bills in two.


    Second Baucus says he wants a public option. Well I’m not going to hold my breath he said this once before when he had to confront the voters of MT but he backed off the first time.


    Third now the GOP is not satisfied with just killing the public option. They want to drastically limit subsidies as well. More proof that when healthcare reform passes it will be an all Democratic bill.


  4. FeedUp says:

    For goodness sake Joseph Lieberman, (I-Conn.) campaigned with
    John McCain. The I behind his name stands for I am my own Island.

  5. AdLib says:


    Why do the losers of the election get to set the rules? The Repubs say the Dems shouldn’t use reconciliation to pass bills the way they did when they were the majority because it’s just not right.

    It’s only right when the GOP does it.

    What kind of wimps and losers would the Dems turn out to be if they felt obliged to follow the arbitrary and voluntary limitations shouted at them by the small minority of Repubs WHO LOST THE LAST TWO ELECTIONS.

    I am going to assume they won’t and the public option is going to be passed through reconciliation.

    And the Dems will then enjoy 30+ years as the dominant party for giving Americans something so necessary and valuable to their lives, the lives of all Americans from that point forward and the economy.

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