Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A rules tactic to pass the most extreme aspects of an agenda?

If you all thought that the excessive spending, pork, and earmarks were the "extreme" pieces of President Barry's agenda, think again. He's reassuring unions that Card Check will pass this year. He's all for throwing Western Europe under the bus in exchange for Russia's laughable "help" in trying to stop the Iranian nuclear program. But his health care and energy issues are quite radical, and they'd guarantee more financial woes for the country. The Hill reports that he wants to use a procedural rule in the Senate to quash any possible filibusters against either initiative: (HT to the lovely young gun, Mary Katherine Ham)

President Obama’s budget director said the White House would consider using a Senate procedural tactic so that only 50 votes would be required to pass major healthcare and energy reforms.

Peter Orszag, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the administration would prefer not to use the budget reconciliation process to push through its package.But he added: "We have to keep everything on the table. We want to get these.... important things done this year." Orszag called healthcare in particular "the key to our fiscal future."

Orszag made the comments on ABC’s "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

Because they can not be filibustered, budget reconciliations only require 50 votes to pass the Senate. Democrats hold strong majorities in Congress, but still come up short of the 60 votes necessary in the Senate to end debate, which makes it easier for Republicans to block legislation. House rules in comparison make it harder for the minority party to stop bills.

Still, using budget reconciliation to pass policy proposals is controversial, even among some Democrats who believe doing so strains Senate rules and tradition.

The Obama blueprint calls for major changes in both energy and healthcare policies that is likely to engender significant opposition from Republicans and business lobbies. The reforms are expect to win widespread support from Democrats and more left-leaning constituencies.

The budget plan calls for a cap on carbon emissions, for example, and projects $645 billion in revenues from an auction of pollution permits that a variety of business groups, including oil companies, large manufacturers and utilities, would have to purchase.

On healthcare, the plan calls for a $634 billion reserve fund to pay for a first step on healthcare reform.

Isn't that special? He wants to use a procedural trick that's set aside for budgets to push through two of the most radical elements of his agenda. The energy plan would devastate businesses across the country, and will put a number of energy producers out of business thanks to an increase in regulations within the plan, and for all the fines they they'd end up paying. Folks, this malarkey about climate change is bull-sh*t. There is no consensus in the scientific community about it, and just recently many of the global warming detractors have corrected their colleagues. The planet's not getting warmer. Temperatures are starting to dip, signalling a phase of cooling.

And as for his health care reforms, what will be reformed is who has the oversight for health care. That would be the federal government. True health care reform starts with tort reform, to reign in the trial lawyers suing hospitals and doctors for exorbitant gobs of money. Why won't Congress and the administration take on tort reform? Can you say "trial lawyers?" I knew you could. S-Chip was the first step towards nationalizing health care. The add-on in the stimulus bill of creating a commission to oversee health care decisions was the next step. Now President Barry wants to ram nationalized health care down our throats, literally.

Look, I've got health insurance. It's provided by my employer. What's going to happen to all of those policies when President Barry gets his way? Most will be abandoned because the government will surely tell those employers that their coverage isn't enough. Add to that the fact that many on Capitol Hill want other health care provisions added to be covered, such as psychiatric care. Please. If you're nuts, stay that way. It makes the world a far more interesting place. I know because I am nuts; certifiably so.

What is alarming about this move is that the president is willing to use a procedural trick to strongarm his agenda through the Congress and foist this upon the nation. All of his lemming supporters that are looking for the free handouts are going to get a rude awakening when the spending that he has signed, and that which he is proposing, ends up deepening this recession, and calls for an increase in taxes. And when taxes go up, we all know what happens to government revenues. They go down because people have less money to spend, and they're doing everything they can to save more.

The Republicans in the Senate need to raise a stink about this. Neither initiative is part of a budget bill, and this rules shouldn't be allowed to be invoked to pass them. I'd say it's unconstitutional, but it's not. But it is clearly a breech of the Senate's rules. But are we surprised by President Barry's strongarm tactics? Nope. No one should be surprised. Remember, we have a community organizer in the White House that is acting like an ACORN thug.

Publius II


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