Blitzing the Senate Parliamentarian - WSJ

  
Via:  Vic Eldred  •  one month ago  •  28 comments

By:   The Editorial Board (WSJ)

Blitzing the Senate Parliamentarian - WSJ
Democrats are trying to sneak huge policy shifts through budget reconciliation.

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Spending $3.5 trillion on a budget bill apparently doesn't satisfy the progressive imperative. Democrats control the 50-50 Senate thanks only to the Vice President as tiebreaker, and they lack the votes to nuke the filibuster. Nevertheless, they insist that their mammoth budget bill must also include big policy changes, even if it takes bending Senate rules beyond recognition.

On Friday the Senate's parliamentarian heard arguments from both sides on how much a reconciliation bill can rewrite immigration law. Democrats want to give green cards to as many as eight million people. Legalizing the so-called Dreamers who came here as children is a good idea on the merits, but is it a budget item? The obvious answer is no, and everybody knows it. Legalizing eight million people would have budgetary effects, but revenues and outlays are clearly beside the point.
The House Education and Labor plan, meantime, would  rewrite U.S. labor law  to give unions a new advantage. “It shall be unlawful,” one provision says, for an employer to “promise, threaten, or take any action” to “permanently replace an employee who participates in a strike.” Another section would create civil penalties for “unfair labor practices,” up to $100,000 a pop. Company directors and officers could be held personally liable if they so much as “established a policy that led to such a violation.”

The House Energy and Commerce proposal would  launch a Clean Electricity Performance Program . Starting in 2023, energy suppliers that increased their clean power by four percentage points a year would receive grants for a portion of that gain, based on a formula of $150 per megawatt-hour. Those that failed would owe “a payment”—is this a fine, or maybe it’s a tax?—based on $40 per megawatt-hour. It reads like regulation by alternative means.

To qualify for passage under reconciliation, a provision is supposed to affect the budget in a way that’s more than incidental. This is part of  what’s known as the Byrd rule . When the reconciliation process was set up in 1974, the temptation was to label everything budgetary. In the 1980s, Sen. Robert Byrd moved to limit these abuses. The Byrd rule has been stretched since then, but it still imposes at least some discipline on reconciliation.

In February Bernie Sanders wanted to use the budget process to enact a nationwide $15 minimum wage. The parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, said  this proposal was extraneous . Six years ago the same thing happened when Republicans wanted to ax ObamaCare’s mandate to buy health insurance, so the GOP eventually settled for cutting the penalty to $0.

Ms. MacDonough hasn’t said when she plans to rule on those eight million green cards, but she’s under enormous pressure to wave things past the Byrd rule. After she nixed Mr. Sanders’s $15 minimum wage, some Democrats called for her to be ignored—or fired. Perhaps their strategy today is to blitz Ms. MacDonough with so many incidental provisions that some are bound to make it through.

Yet if immigration or labor law can be rewritten by reconciliation, then the Byrd rule will be as dead as the dodo, and don’t expect Republicans to turn the other cheek. To quote GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s comment  in 2013  about breaking the filibuster for judicial nominees, Democrats might regret this, and a lot sooner than they think.


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    one month ago

Oh what they are trying to do with that 50-50 tie!

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2  JBB    one month ago

The gop gave Trump everything he ever wanted.

But, with Biden, the gop is all about obstruction...

 
 
 
Ronin2
Masters Quiet
2.1  Ronin2  replied to  JBB @2    one month ago

The Democrats were all about obstruction when it came to Trump

With Biden they are giving him everything he ever wanted; and even several things he never knew he wanted.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JBB @2    one month ago

The Republican congress, which operated under the advise of Paul Ryan only managed to give Trump a tax cut. And they had clear majorities!

 
 
 
Duck Hawk
Freshman Silent
2.2.1  Duck Hawk  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2    one month ago

Gee, I remember them pushing through 2 SCOTUS picks in questionable fashion. Guess they did more than "give Trump a tax break."

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.2  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Duck Hawk @2.2.1    one month ago

That was Mitch McConnell and the Senate. They had a clear majority.

 
 
 
Duck Hawk
Freshman Silent
2.2.3  Duck Hawk  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.2    one month ago

Ryan was not in for the last 2 years. During the first two he gave Trump whatever he wanted form Congress. Pelosi put a stop to his "blank check" Congress. So McConnell shit canned any bill from the House. Talk about tyranny by the minority.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.4  Texan1211  replied to  Duck Hawk @2.2.1    one month ago
Gee, I remember them pushing through 2 SCOTUS picks in questionable fashion. Guess they did more than "give Trump a tax break.

No one cares that you "think" it was in some fashion or other.

Seems to me that every member of SCOTUS was nominated by a sitting President, and then confirmed by the US Senate.

You know, like all the other SCOTUS Justices were.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.6  Texan1211  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2    one month ago
The Republican congress, which operated under the advise of Paul Ryan only managed to give Trump a tax cut.

THAT statement is FALSE.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.7  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Texan1211 @2.2.6    one month ago

What other legislation did Trump get done?

Remember Ryan's grand strategy, which he sold to Trump. Priority One was getting rid of Obamacare so that everything else could be paid for.  Ryan didn't realize that people in red districts had started recieving benefits and were starting to like the benefits. Support was waivering. The democrats united in complete resistance to all things TRUMP. That meant Republicans in both chambers would have to stick together. After a good part of 2017 was used up with getting reluctant Republicans on board to repeal & replace Obamacare, it came down to one vote in the Senate. That shallow individual who only cared about pay back and spite. Do you recall his thumbs down?  Down went all that time and effort. Then they passed Priority # 2 - the Tax cut. Then they lost control of the House and Ryan wisely retired.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.2.8  Tessylo  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.7    one month ago

None

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
2.2.9  Dulay  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.7    one month ago
After a good part of 2017 was used up with getting reluctant Republicans on board to repeal & replace Obamacare, it came down to one vote in the Senate. That shallow individual who only cared about pay back and spite. Do you recall his thumbs down?  Down went all that time and effort.

Actually, it came down to THREE votes. Sen. Collins and Murkowski voted down the 'skinny' repeal too. Why give them a pass on their votes? 

Oh and BTFW, as McCain stated, the 'replace' part was utterly absent from the bill. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.10  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Dulay @2.2.9    one month ago

We all know there were 3 defectors, but it was McCain that destroyed party unity:

"The return of McCain to Washington after a brain cancer diagnosis added drama to the already tense proceedings. It was his vote — the 50th — that allowed Republicans begin debating the measure.

McCain   gave a heartfelt speech upon his return to the Senate   on Tuesday, decrying the rise of partisanship. And it was McCain who put an end to the partisan repeal effort."




Oh and BTFW, as McCain stated, the 'replace' part was utterly absent from the bill. 

So he claimed. He had an unending feud with Trump and he put that above country & party.

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
2.2.11  Dulay  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.10    one month ago
We all know there were 3 defectors, but it was McCain that destroyed party unity

AGAIN, why are you giving Collins and Murkowski a pass on their votes Vic? 

So he claimed.

McCain's 'claim' is supported by the content of the bill. 

He had an unending feud with Trump and he put that above country & party.

Your own link lends a much deeper nuance to the discussion Vic. McCain begged the Senate to return to legislating through 'regular order'. Oh course, recognizing that doesn't bolster your agenda, does it? 

You seem to want to ignore this:

It was his vote — the 50th — that allowed Republicans begin debating the measure.

Pence voted to break the 50-50 tie. You know, the kind of thing you decry in your first comment...

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
2.2.12  Dulay  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.2    one month ago

Then WHY did Pence have to vote to break more ties than any other VP in this century Vic? 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.13  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Dulay @2.2.11    one month ago
AGAIN, why are you giving Collins and Murkowski a pass on their votes Vic? 

I never gave the fickle team a pass. After all they had to prove something, didn't they?


McCain's 'claim' is supported by the content of the bill. 

Nothing in the bill confirms that he was expreeing an honest complaint


Your own link lends a much deeper nuance to the discussion Vic. McCain begged the Senate to return to legislating through 'regular order'. 

He wanted regular order? Why is that?


You seem to want to ignore this:

I haven't ignored anything, nor have I forgotten "the resistance."

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.14  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Dulay @2.2.12    one month ago
Then WHY did Pence have to vote to break more ties than any other VP in this century Vic? 

The "Resistance" Dulay!

The "Resistance!!!"

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
2.2.15  Dulay  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.13    one month ago
I never gave the fickle team a pass. After all they had to prove something, didn't they?

So you characterize Collins and Murkowski are 'fickle' but McCain is vengeful but don't think that's giving them a pass. 

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

Nothing in the bill confirms that he was expreeing an honest complaint

Nothing in the bill 'replaces' ANYTHING it 'removes' Vic. 

Secondly, in his speech, McCain EXRESSED an 'honest complaint' about the failure of the Senate to follow 'regular order' for the bill. 

He wanted regular order? Why is that?

I'd suggest that you allow Sen. McCain to answer your question but actually WATCHING and addressing the content and context of McCain's speech seems to be a bridge too far for you. 

I haven't ignored anything, nor have I forgotten "the resistance."

So not ignoring, just deflecting. Got ya. 

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
2.2.16  Dulay  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.14    one month ago

DEFLECTION Vic!

DEFLECTION!

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.3  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @2    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Duck Hawk
Freshman Silent
3  Duck Hawk    one month ago

That's all they have had for the last 12 years, obstruct anything (even if it's good for the country) if it's proposed or championed by a democrat. Our country went to hell when the Tea Party and other conservatives decided that COMPROMISE was a dirty word. So what if DEMOCRACY is a political art of compromises, without it, it's just simply tyranny and a defunct government. So will one of the conservatives on here try to explain why they are so hell bent on destroying this "Great Experiment" and establishing a tyrannical, authoritarian, religion based society like the Taliban? Just asking...

 
 
 
Ronin2
Masters Quiet
3.1  Ronin2  replied to  Duck Hawk @3    one month ago

What the hell do you think Democrats have done? Name one thing championed by a Republican (even if it's good for the country) that the Democrats haven't obstructed.

This is where the country is at. Democrats hilariously think this started with Obama; forgetting their complete obstruction of the Bush Jr administration. 

Why don't you tell us why Democrats are trying to turn the US into China? Trying to establish a one party rule, tyrannical, authoritarian regime complete with reeducation camps./S

If your really think the Republicans are anything like the Taliban, then jump on a plane to Afghanistan. The Taliban will be thrilled to give you a free education on the differences. Maybe you can find some of the US citizens Biden abandoned there while you are at it. 

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
3.1.1  Dulay  replied to  Ronin2 @3.1    one month ago
 Name one thing championed by a Republican (even if it's good for the country) that     the Democrats haven't obstructed.

How about I name 12? 

 
 
 
Ronin2
Masters Quiet
3.2  Ronin2  replied to  Duck Hawk @3    one month ago

To answer your question the Republicans did stupidly compromise on a 1.5 trillion "infrastructure" bill. Go check it out if you don't believe me. The House Democrats are sitting on it- demanding their porkulus 3.5 trillion reconciliation bill be passed first. The Democrats are blocking themselves! 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.3  Tessylo  replied to  Duck Hawk @3    one month ago
"That's all they have had for the last 12 years, obstruct anything (even if it's good for the country) if it's proposed or championed by a democrat. Our country went to hell when the Tea Party and other conservatives decided that COMPROMISE was a dirty word. So what if DEMOCRACY is a political art of compromises, without it, it's just simply tyranny and a defunct government. So will one of the conservatives on here try to explain why they are so hell bent on destroying this "Great Experiment" and establishing a tyrannical, authoritarian, religion based society like the Taliban? Just asking..."
EXACTAMUNDO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
 
Duck Hawk
Freshman Silent
4  Duck Hawk    one month ago

Why don't you tell us why Democrats are trying to turn the US into China? Trying to establish a one party rule, tyrannical, authoritarian regime complete with reeducation camps./S

 There are people who really believe that stuff, it scares the shit out of me. How do we achieve a functioning government when a large section of the populace believes these lies?

If your really think the Republicans are anything like the Taliban, then jump on a plane to Afghanistan. The Taliban will be thrilled to give you a free education on the differences. 

The conservatives in this country are establishing laws that restrict women's rights (abortion) and social values that target and degrade women. see the clothing "restrictions" IE. modest dress imposed by conservative Christians.  I used to only see these among the Amish and Mennonite communities. Now I see it pervasive in other Christian sects. These are a few examples that I have seen in NE Ohio and elsewhere.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
PhD Expert
4.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Duck Hawk @4    one month ago

Duck Hawk wrote: "The conservatives in this country are establishing laws that restrict women's rights (abortion) and social values that target and degrade women. see the clothing "restrictions" IE. modest dress imposed by conservative Christians."

This statement is false..

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
5  XXJefferson51    one month ago

The more crap they push past the parliamentarian the less likely they get Manchin or Sinema to support it.  

 
 
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