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Fighting the Nuclear Option

Posted By Brian Darling On February 3, 2010 @ 6:00 pm In Obamacare | Comments Disabled

With the victory of Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA), Democrats are turning to a secret “Nuclear Option” to push ObamaCare through the Senate and avoid a Republican filibuster. Now it appears, though, that Republicans have a procedural tactic of their own to fight back.

The Hill reports today that “Republicans say they have found a loophole in the budget reconciliation process that could allow them to offer an indefinite number of amendments. Though it has never been done, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says he’s prepared to test the Senate’s stamina to block the Democrats from using the process to expedite changes to the healthcare bill. Experts on Senate procedural rules, from both parties, note that such a filibuster is possible.” A close reading of the rules allows for unlimited numbers of amendments to a reconciliation package after debate is complete.

The DeMint tactic is in response to the liberal’s new secret plan to use reconciliation – the Nuclear Option – to force parts of ObamaCare through the Senate with a simple majority vote, thereby avoiding the filibuster rule. House leaders would pass the Senate-passed ObamaCare bill after the reconciliation measure passes the Senate. The reconciliation measure will carry all the changes to the Senate passed ObamaCare bill necessary to get a bill to the President’s desk. It is very confusing, but the bottom line is that the secret plan includes two bills that add up to ObamaCare.

Liberals in Congress need to change the rules of the game to avoid using the regular rules of engagement in the Senate after the victory of Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) to the Senate. They have come up with a controversial plan that allows them to change the rules of the game. The Democrat Caucus does not have 60 votes to pass legislation through the Senate with the power to block amendments and debate, so they need to resort to special budget rules of reconciliation.

The left is angry that anybody would dare to fight back against these strong arm tactics of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev). Jon Walker at FireDogLake argues for the left to toss the rules of the game out of the window. Walker rants that “Reid has the power to call a point of order and with the help of the Chair of the Senate, VP Joe Biden, and fifty members, put an end to this nonsense. Changing the rules mid-session is an extreme measure, but extreme obstructionism calls for extreme solutions.” The left will not rest until they have gutted the rules of the Senate and have passed an ObamaCare bill that even the people of liberal Massachusetts have soundly rejected.


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