Reconciliation and the Nuclear Option

Left vs. RightThere’s been a lot of accusing the democrats of threatening the ‘nuclear option‘ by trying to pass Obamacare through reconciliation. I’m going to go against my nature and defend the democrats on this one. They aren’t. A little history…

Back when President George W. Bush was trying to get some federal judges approved by the Senate, the democrats were being obstructionist. Despite the quality of the nominees, and disrespecting public opinion, the democrats were filibustering Bush’s nominations. The Republicans did what they had to do. They threatened the ‘nuclear option‘, which was a change in the Senate rules which would let them pass a cloture vote with fewer than 60 votes. The democrats backed down, and the rule change never happened.

What the democrats are now threatening (and apparently intending) is to pass Obamacare through the process of ‘reconciliation‘ or more properly ‘budget reconciliation‘, which is a way to fund a bill which was passed in slightly different versions in the House and in the Senate. It’s a different process than a bill going through ‘committee‘ in that it doesn’t clear up differences in the bill, but only allows the programs to be funded. It’s happened every year or two for the last thirty years, but never on anything that cost more than a few trillion dollars.

What seems to be lost on most people is that Obamacare has already passed in the House and the Senate. The plan is for the House to pass a bill which amends its version to match the Senate version, and then the Senate would pass reconciliation to fund it at essentially the same time. Then Obama signs both bills and America starts its inevitable decline.

There’s some talk of passing Obamacare using reconciliation being against the Byrd Rule, but that’s neither here nor there. If the democrats want to ignore that rule, then they will. They’ve never been advocates of self control.

So we come to the big question. Which is worse: the nuclear option or reconciliation? The answer is obvious. It’s whatever the democrats are trying to do at the time. It’s all a subversion of the will of the people to serve their own narrow-minded agenda, by passing bills through the Senate by a majority vote instead of a super-majority. If you can’t get 60 votes, then a bill shouldn’t pass. It’s what the founders intended.

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