Saturday, February 27, 2010

New York Times Hearts 'Budget Reconciliation'

From yesterday's New York Times editorial, "After the Summit" (via Memeorandum):
The president and Speaker Nancy Pelosi should push the House to accept the fundamentally sound Senate bill. If they still cannot garner enough votes from their own caucus, they should alter the Senate bill slightly with parallel legislation that could be passed with budget reconciliation.

Bad idea, actually. See Bill Frist's commentary from yesterday as well, "A Historic and Dangerous Senate Mistake: Using 'Reconciliation' to Ram Through Health Reform Would Only Deepen Partisan Passions":

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that while Democrats have a number of options to complete health-care legislation, he may use the budget reconciliation process to do so. This would be an unprecedented, dangerous and historic mistake.

Budget reconciliation is an arcane Senate procedure whereby legislation can be passed using a lowered threshold of requisite votes (a simple majority) under fast-track rules that limit debate. This process was intended for incremental changes to the budget—not sweeping social legislation.

Using the budget reconciliation procedure to pass health-care reform would be unprecedented because Congress has never used it to adopt major, substantive policy change. The Senate's health bill is without question such a change: It would fundamentally alter one-fifth of our economy.
More at the link.

VIDEO HAT TIP: The Blog Prof, "Best ObamaCare Summit GOP Argument? Paul Ryan (R-WI) ."