Fast-Track on Obama Budget not exactly Reconciliation.

The once black and white battlefield for Obama's monstrosity of spending and government largess has just gotten a lot more complex. House Dems have inserted in the bill the option of reconciliation. If the Senate leadership agrees with the House this could, in theory, shut down the GOP attempts to stymie the budget proposal through filibustering..

From the New York Times,

NYT-Republicans are in a tizzy because Democrats are threatening to use the budgetary procedure known as reconciliation — it reconciles policy with fiscal guidelines — to overhaul the health care system, possibly enact climate change legislation and rewrite education policy.

They have good reason to fret: If Democrats successfully invoke reconciliation, such major bills could pass by a simple majority vote, denying Republicans the filibuster, their sole remaining weapon to influence federal policy given the Democratic grip on government.

The process of reconciliation was established under Section 310 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended. Ironically it was used to force reductions in deficit spending through spending reductions or revenue increases, or a combination of the two.

Reconciliation has two steps. The first is instructions are included in the budget resolution, guiding one more committees in the House to amend the spending or revenues to meet the specifications laid out in the resolution. This creates omnibus budget reconciliation measure.

The second step is the omnibus budget reconciliation measure is considered in the House and Senate under expedited procedures. Debate time in the Senate is limited to 20 hours and must be pertinent and fitting to the resolution. This eliminates any attempts by the minority party at filibustering the bill and removes the challenge of invoking cloture.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the Senate Democratic leaders have said they will not include reconciliation in their version of the budget.

CSM-“We’re keeping everything on the table,” said Senate majority leader Harry Reid at a briefing on Thursday.

Of course, just the mere threat of putting a reconciliation resolution in the budget proposal is telling that the Senate Democrats could possibly be facing internal opposition . Nevertheless, this fiscal Obamanation will be passed, in one form or another, probably saving just a few hundred billion versus the trillions that need to be removed.

All I can say to the Dems is, "Own it!"" The people will be waiting for 2010."



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