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View Full Version : U.S. Issues Should Senate avoid the fillibuster on Healthcare & Energy like with Bush's Tax Cuts?


jAZ
03-23-2009, 02:18 PM
It's called the "Reconcillation Process":

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/17/AR2009031703798.html

The shortcut, known as "budget reconciliation," would allow Obama's health and energy proposals to be rolled into a bill that cannot be filibustered, meaning Democrats could push it through the Senate with 51 votes, instead of the usual 60. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both used the tactic to win deficit-reduction packages, while George W. Bush used it to push through his signature tax cuts.

Direckshun
03-23-2009, 03:12 PM
I've never been a fan of this tactic, even though it's perfectly legal. This is a rare circumstance in American governance when the ends justify the means.

I just think the filibuster process needs to be reformed.

Edit: So while I guess I'm not a fan of this tactic, I do find it mildly acceptible...

jAZ
03-23-2009, 03:22 PM
I opposed the nuclear option, but I'm open to this. Mostly because the break with a relatively poorly defined tradition happened already. Hard to put the genie back in the box.

BigRedChief
03-24-2009, 06:26 AM
If its legal and not immoral? why not? It's politics, parlamentary manuveruing to achieve your promises to those that elected you.

It's hypocritical for the Republicans to say this isn't the way to pass a bill when they did they same thing with the Bush tax cuts.

InChiefsHell
03-24-2009, 06:48 AM
If its legal and not immoral? why not? It's politics, parlamentary manuveruing to achieve your promises to those that elected you.

It's hypocritical for the Republicans to say this isn't the way to pass a bill when they did they same thing with the Bush tax cuts.

Agreed. If you got the power, use it. That's one thing I can't stand about the Republicans, they (IMO) spent the bulk of the Bush years trying to make everyone happy instead of pushing through a conservative agenda. Tax cuts not withstanding, of course.

I would expect the Dems to use their power. Anything short of that would be very Republican-y. The dems are not that dumb...

...all the Republicans can hope for is a change in the house in 2010 and a chance to share some power. They've put themselves in this position, IMO...

Mr. Kotter
03-24-2009, 07:47 AM
There is a good reason that the administration is reluctant to do it....it's a big gamble, like Bush's tax cuts were. Bush's tax cuts though, enjoyed widespread support. If Obama's SPECIFIC proposals do not enjoy the same sort of widespread support, there could be potential for blowback here. All I know is, if they do it...they better have their ducks in a row, otherwise the Repubs could score some big points with it--like 1993 when the Clintons invested so much time, effort, and political capital in their failed healthcare proposal.

BTW, how can anyone say they support the "proposals" when we haven't seen the final version/specifics of the proposals yet??? :shrug:

Garcia Bronco
03-24-2009, 08:07 AM
BTW, how can anyone say they support the "proposals" when we haven't seen the final version/specifics of the proposals yet??? :shrug:

Exactly. If we ditch SS, Medicare, and Medicaid I would listen, but otherwise we are talking about another bottomless pit of entitlement programs that do the opposite of their intention.

jAZ
03-24-2009, 08:15 AM
BTW, how can anyone say they support the "proposals" when we haven't seen the final version/specifics of the proposals yet??? :shrug:
It's only an internet poll. I think we can take some liberties here and assume that you lean toward supporting the proposals (cap & trade and healthcare as outlined by Obama on the campaign trail) or you lean toward objecting them. We have formed those camps here long before the primaries in 2008. It's not rocket science to vote using that loose judgement here.

Mr. Kotter
03-24-2009, 09:22 AM
... We have formed those camps here long before the primaries in 2008. It's not rocket science to vote using that loose judgement here.

You are wrong. That is precisely the attitude that has left the administration backpedling and on the defensive over the how the economy is being handled.

Reform proposals as significant, potentially, as what we are possibly looking at are all about the specifics. The final version of the bill is what will have to be debated pretty thoroughly. The devil is, as they say, in the details. A knee-jerk response is naive and politically unwise for anyone at this point.

jAZ
03-24-2009, 09:59 AM
You are wrong. That is precisely the attitude that has left the administration backpedling and on the defensive over the how the economy is being handled.

Reform proposals as significant, potentially, as what we are possibly looking at are all about the specifics. The final version of the bill is what will have to be debated pretty thoroughly. The devil is, as they say, in the details. A knee-jerk response is naive and politically unwise for anyone at this point.

Ummm... it's a freaking internet poll. If you can't make heads or tails of it. Don't vote in it. There is no consequence to skipping this election.

Mr. Kotter
03-24-2009, 10:02 AM
Ummm... it's a freaking internet poll. If you can't make heads or tails of it. Don't vote in it. There is no consequence to skipping this election.

Fair enough. I'm just pointing out how silly the "poll" is....

Velvet_Jones
03-24-2009, 10:35 AM
It's only an internet poll. I think we can take some liberties here and assume that you lean toward supporting the proposals (cap & trade and healthcare as outlined by Obama on the campaign trail) or you lean toward objecting them. We have formed those camps here long before the primaries in 2008. It's not rocket science to vote using that loose judgement here.

This is kind of like the bail out bill that nobody read before they voted on it.

You spelted judgement wrong - dumbass.

jAZ
03-24-2009, 10:52 AM
You spelted judgement wrong - dumbass.

It wasn't even months. I fell within minutes. But you were there to be my salvation... again.

Blessed be Velvet. Your grace is forever there when I am in need of it most.

trndobrd
03-24-2009, 12:06 PM
Vote for Change.

Rigodan
03-25-2009, 12:46 AM
To allow only 20 hours to debate these very complex proposals with such far reaching consequences is absolutely absurd.

jAZ
03-25-2009, 09:31 AM
To allow only 20 hours to debate these very complex proposals with such far reaching consequences is absolutely absurd.

Lawrence O'Donnell was on MSNBC last night saying that they can and will do this in the House, but that the Senate budget committee has refused to do this with healthcare and cap & trade. And unless both sides agree, it won't go this route. They'll have to be seperate bills.

We'll see if he's right on the protocol. He seemed to be the only one saying it, but he's among the smartest people on this sort thing that TV has to offer.

RINGLEADER
03-25-2009, 09:35 AM
It certainly violates what I understand the intention of the filibuster rule to be in the Senate. But from a political POV they're certainly entitled to try. The more the Dems own this thing the better in the long run.

J Diddy
03-25-2009, 09:43 AM
It certainly violates what I understand the intention of the filibuster rule to be in the Senate. But from a political POV they're certainly entitled to try. The more the Dems own this thing the better in the long run.


I agree with you wholeheartedly, just probably not in the manner that you think.

jAZ
03-25-2009, 10:24 AM
It certainly violates what I understand the intention of the filibuster rule to be in the Senate. But from a political POV they're certainly entitled to try. The more the Dems own this thing the better in the long run.
Modern application of the fillibuster rule violates the intention of the filibuster rule.

The point was to hear extended debate on an idea, not to read the phone book so that you can block a measure.

RINGLEADER
03-25-2009, 10:36 AM
Modern application of the fillibuster rule violates the intention of the filibuster rule.

The point was to hear extended debate on an idea, not to read the phone book so that you can block a measure.

Actually, that's not really true. During the first 120 years or so any member of the senate could talk as long as they wanted because conducting business required the consent of EVERYONE. They changed it to two-thirds early in the 20th century then came up with the current cloture rules during Gerald Ford's presidency.

jAZ
03-25-2009, 11:05 AM
Actually, that's not really true. During the first 120 years or so any member of the senate could talk as long as they wanted because conducting business required the consent of EVERYONE. They changed it to two-thirds early in the 20th century then came up with the current cloture rules during Gerald Ford's presidency.

That's not the point I was making.

RINGLEADER
03-25-2009, 11:15 AM
That's not the point I was making.

If your point was that they didn't have phone books in the 18th and 19th centuries then you're right.

If you're talking about current rules allowed by Rule 22 then that's OK too. Except that the procedures allowed by that rule actually make the reading of the phone book unnecessary (as opposed to the procedures in place before Rule 22 was adopted).

jAZ
03-25-2009, 11:37 AM
If your point was that they didn't have phone books in the 18th and 19th centuries then you're right.

If you're talking about current rules allowed by Rule 22 then that's OK too. Except that the procedures allowed by that rule actually make the reading of the phone book unnecessary (as opposed to the procedures in place before Rule 22 was adopted).

I'm saying that the purpose and nature of the Senate isn't that endless rhetoric be used block legislation and freeze the Senate. It was intended to as a means for the governing body to be deliberative and thoughful in it's actions. Filibustering without actual debate (whether by rule 22 threat or by actual speeches) isn't deliberation at all. It's obstruction.

I'm not demanding up or down votes or threatening a nuclear option. I'm simply saying that you your narrow view of the intention of the filibuster misses the bigger picture of what filibuster was intended for and what it has become.

I would argue that rule 22 has lead to the culture of obstructionism (on both sides). There's a reason that so few filibusters took place before and how widely adopted the practice has become today.

It = gridlock.

Mr. Kotter
03-25-2009, 11:47 AM
I'm saying that the purpose and nature of the Senate isn't that endless rhetoric be used block legislation and freeze the Senate.

It = gridlock.

Wrong again; that is PRECISELY what a filibuster is about, and why they have "cloture" as a process to bypass filibuster. Without "cloture," filibusters are, by design, intended to table the discussion. Period. Both parties have used it liberally over the course of history, when it suited their purpose.

Brock
03-25-2009, 11:48 AM
Gridlock is a good thing.

Mr. Kotter
03-25-2009, 11:50 AM
Gridlock is a good thing.


Yep. Most of the time, anyway. If something is really necessary, it SHOULD have 60 votes.

RINGLEADER
03-25-2009, 05:42 PM
I would argue that rule 22 has lead to the culture of obstructionism (on both sides). There's a reason that so few filibusters took place before and how widely adopted the practice has become today.

It = gridlock.

I don't disagree, but I think it's a good thing.

The less the government does to muck things up the better.

jAZ
03-25-2009, 05:51 PM
I don't disagree, but I think it's a good thing.

The less the government does to muck things up the better.

I don't see how you can disagree. That's exactly what happened. You might very well support the outcome, but it's a little hard to deny the fact that as soon as people weren't forced to actually put the work in to filibuster, they started filibustering everything they could get away with.

If you are going to set a 60 vote threashold, then do it. Don't muck around bastardizing the process.