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Democrats Flirt with Destroying Another Senate Guardrail by blackrams
Started on: 02-15-2021 07:30 AM
Replies: 10 (184 views)
Last post by: Wichita on 02-16-2021 06:52 PM
blackrams
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Report this Post02-15-2021 07:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for blackramsClick Here to Email blackramsSend a Private Message to blackramsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Please keep the conversation civil.

Democrats Flirt with Destroying Another Senate Guardrail
https://www.msn.com/en-us/n...1dH5T7?ocid=msedgntp

Senate Democrats considering the destruction of another set of Senate rules might want to heed the words of English lawyer and chancellor Sir Thomas More to his son-in-law centuries ago:
And Richard, once you have cut down all the trees, where will you hide when the devil comes for you?

Then-Senator Harry Reid started this clearcutting of the rules back in 2013. He used the “nuclear option” to lower the vote threshold for confirmation in order to stack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Senator Mitch McConnell escalated by using the same standard to confirm Supreme Court nominees.

As Majority Leader Chuck Schumer toys with the idea of blowing up the legislative filibuster as well, he is potentially poised to first unravel another important — if lesser-known — Senate rule in pursuit of an all-encompassing COVID-relief bill under the terms of “budget reconciliation.”

We’re talking about the Byrd Rule (named after the late Senator Robert Byrd), which limits the ability of the majority to stuff extraneous legislative goodies into budget-related proposals and still pass them with a simple-majority vote under that process. Senator Byrd saw the danger of using reconciliation, which limits amendments and debate, to pursue broader, non-budgetary legislation outside regular order. As a defender of the right of all senators to debate and amend legislation, he fastened these restrictions onto the reconciliation process. This is for the greater good: the Byrd Rule protects Social Security from the reconciliation process, for instance, while limiting committees to proposals in their jurisdiction and requiring that the budget relevance of any proposal considered under this process be more than “merely incidental.” What this means is that major legislative policy changes can be made only when all senators have the right to fully debate and amend legislation — and to filibuster. Reconciliation otherwise “streamlines” this process at the expense of the minority.

Today, fueled by rage and revenge, the leaders of the Senate care nothing for the reasons behind the rules; they want only to pass their legislation as quickly as possible. Most of the attention these past weeks has gone to the $15 minimum wage contained inside the COVID-relief package. This hardly meets the reconciliation standard on its own, but there will be other violations of the Byrd Rule in the bill the House will send to the Senate.

That’s why Senate Democrats could aim to break the glass on Senate rules. As described by parliamentary expert Martin Gold, there are two ways to achieve this.

First, there’s the more targeted attack on the Byrd Rule. Say Vice President Harris is in the chair when a senator raises a point of order against, for example, the minimum-wage hike. The Senate parliamentarian advises her that this particular section of the reconciliation bill is out of order. Despite all evidence and precedent that the section is out of order, the VP rules otherwise. Now the section takes only a simple majority to pass. However, if a senator who supports the Byrd Rule challenges the ruling of the chair, it will require a 60-vote majority to overrule Harris. That’s a high bar. So here, the chair’s judgment, which likely would stand, changes the precedent so that any other item in the bill that violates the Byrd Rule can be ruled acceptable under the new standard just established by the vice president. Republicans would have loved this when they were trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, but they respected Senate rules protecting the rights of the minority. This limited, surgical strike on the Byrd Rule would still disrupt the precedent in perpetuity.

Meanwhile, there’s a broader attack that could be implemented. In this scenario, the majority leader addresses the chair and says that waiving the Byrd Rule only takes a simple-majority vote. It is clear under the rules and the precedents that this is false. If the chair rules that it takes 60 votes to waive the Byrd Rule, the majority leader then appeals the ruling of the chair, which takes a simple-majority vote to overturn. Bingo — the protections of the Byrd Rule are dead, and now it takes only a simple-majority vote to put any legislative proposal the majority wants into the budget-reconciliation bill, bypassing legitimate debate and amendment.

The result of this action would threaten any rule in the Senate. If at any time the majority wants to get rid of any rule, all they would have to do is appeal the ruling of the chair and muster a simple majority — silencing the opposition and forcing their will on the American people.

Once upon a time, the U.S. Senate was called the world’s greatest deliberative body. As envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, there were rules that protected the minority and allowed for thorough debate. Sadly, it appears this current Senate majority cares little for the precedents that earned the U.S. Senate that title. But some caution on their part might be well-advised self-interest; tables have been known to turn.


Mitch McConnell told Harry Reid it would be a mistake to change the rules once, Harry did it anyway. Mitch said that Harry and the Dems would eventually regret it and that did happen just at the article says. I guess it's all or none with some. This is something the Dems will eventually regret. I sure hope they don't pull that trigger.

Rams

[This message has been edited by blackrams (edited 02-15-2021).]

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Report this Post02-15-2021 11:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rinselbergClick Here to visit rinselberg's HomePageClick Here to Email rinselbergSend a Private Message to rinselbergEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I give the "bird" to the Byrd rule, having consulted (or consorted) with that odious little leftist troll Ezra Klein.

CLICK FOR FULL SIZE
Man Ray, "Seguidilla"; 1970; color screen print on plexiglass. Smithsonian American Art.


"The Senate Has Become a Dadaist Nightmare"
 
quote
No one would ever design a legislative body that worked this way.

Ezra Klein for the New York Times; February 4, 2021.
https://www.nytimes.com/202...nion&pgtype=Homepage

Read-o-Meter: 9 minutes.


I know members (one has been explicit about it) that are reluctant to go to the New York Times domain. If it's not been your habit, then you may be able to look at this op-ed column without having a subscription. A "freebie." Of course, your reluctance may not be a case of "subscription paywall anxiety." In which case, I defer.

Ezra Klein highlights the Budget Reconciliation process and how the majority party in the Senate has (and continues) to use it to try to advance their agenda, instead of contending with the high barrier of needing a filibuster-proof 60-vote supermajority in order to pass legislation.

He argues that Liberals and Conservatives alike would be better served if the Democrats used their simple majority (with VP Harris's vote if needed) to "go total nuclear" and finally eliminate the legislative filibuster altogether, because what happens to governance when the majority party resorts to Budget Reconciliation is why "Government" is about as popular a concept in this country, by and large, as "diarrhea."

Of course I like the metaphorical invocation of Dadaism, but I also think this is a carefully researched and very readable op-ed column from a very logical-minded social influencer (or influencer wannabe.) I think it's exceptional. Here are three paragraphs from partway thorugh the column:
 
quote
[Senator Robert] Byrd’s reforms didn’t work as he intended. The problem of the filibuster demanded a solution, and even covered in “Byrd droppings,” budget reconciliation was the closest thing to an alternative. The Byrd rules didn’t prevent non-budgetary legislation from being passed through reconciliation, but they did make that legislation worse, and weirder, and the Senate has simply decided to live with the ridiculous results, and make the rest of us live with them, too.

President George W. Bush’s tax cuts, for instance, were designed to expire — expire! — after 10 years because otherwise they would have increased deficits after 10 years, and so been ineligible for reconciliation. President Donald Trump’s tax cuts employ the same trick. This is a legacy of budget reconciliation: Massive chunks of our tax code are just set to disappear at an arbitrary point in the future, and what happens then is anybody’s guess.

The distortions don’t end there. Budget reconciliation warps policy design by pushing away from regulation and toward direct spending and taxation. An example: If you were designing a health care bill in budget reconciliation, you couldn’t pass a rule saying private insurers had to cover pre-existing conditions. But you could add a trillion dollars to Medicaid funding so it could cover anyone with pre-existing conditions who couldn’t get private insurance. Or to use an example that is actually in the reconciliation package Democrats are designing now: You can pass $1,400 checks through budget reconciliation, but you can’t pass emergency paid leave. When Congress writes laws through budget reconciliation, it writes them with one arm tied behind its back.

Here's how he finishes:
 
quote
“Democrats have an opportunity to restore our democracy and deliver on the promises they campaigned on,” the Rev. Dr. Stephany Rose Spaulding, founder of Truth and Conciliation, told me by email. “But they can’t do that without breaking down structural barriers to progress — that starts with eliminating the filibuster. If we allow the filibuster to block voting rights, gun violence prevention, Covid relief and more, we’re sending a clear message to millions of voters that their votes and voices don’t count in our democracy.”

To be clear, if Democrats will not get rid of the filibuster, it is better that they use budget reconciliation than that they fail the American people totally. But the fact that Democrats are using budget reconciliation at all is evidence that even Sinema and Manchin know the filibuster has gone too far, that the chamber cannot operate under supermajority rules, all of the time.

This is a terrible way to legislate. Enough with kludges. End the filibuster, and make the Senate great again.

So he's calling out the Democrats and putting an onus on them, to bring two of their own into the fold (Senators Sinema and Manchin) and then use Vice President Harris's tie-breaking vote in the Senate to eliminate the last vestiges of the filibuster. To get to a place where they could pass any and all kinds of legislation with just a simple majority vote in the Senate. (Discounting any scenarios involving a Presidential veto.)

[This message has been edited by rinselberg (edited 02-15-2021).]

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williegoat
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Report this Post02-15-2021 12:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for williegoatClick Here to visit williegoat's HomePageSend a Private Message to williegoatEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When you feel inclined to re-Klein, decline. You'll be fine.

As regards the topic: Obama 2.0 is hellbent on fundamentally transforming America. Now that they hold all of the cards, there is nothing to stop them from going "balls to the wall".

[This message has been edited by williegoat (edited 02-15-2021).]

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Report this Post02-15-2021 12:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Until their balls are nailed to the wall.

The People will only be pushed so far until the carpenters bring out the tools.
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Report this Post02-15-2021 01:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rinselbergClick Here to visit rinselberg's HomePageClick Here to Email rinselbergSend a Private Message to rinselbergEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Fully implemented Biden-Harris agenda VS inconsistent 'Frankenstein' conditioned by the fun-house mirror-like distortions of Budget Reconciliation under the Byrd rules.

I think what you hope to avoid is worse than what is likely to be created under the current (Byrd) rules.

Why not give "new" a try?

If you don't like it, they will surely bring back the "Byrd."
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Report this Post02-15-2021 01:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for williegoatClick Here to visit williegoat's HomePageSend a Private Message to williegoatEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The Byrd rule is there to prevent runaway "pork barrel" style appropriations. I have always been opposed to any bill which covers more than one topic. To me, it results in something akin to blackmail or extortion. It's for the children! How can you vote against that?

The left is slowly stripping away every safeguard put in place over the years to prevent overzealous extremist legislation. If you go "balls to the wall" without a rev limiter something is going to break.

[This message has been edited by williegoat (edited 02-15-2021).]

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blackrams
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Report this Post02-15-2021 05:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for blackramsClick Here to Email blackramsSend a Private Message to blackramsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by williegoat:

The Byrd rule is there to prevent runaway "pork barrel" style appropriations. I have always been opposed to any bill which covers more than one topic. To me, it results in something akin to blackmail or extortion. It's for the children! How can you vote against that?

The left is slowly stripping away every safeguard put in place over the years to prevent overzealous extremist legislation. If you go "balls to the wall" without a rev limiter something is going to break.





The same rules work for both sides of the aisle. Mitch was right, the Dems will regret doing this in the future. One way or another.

Rams

[This message has been edited by blackrams (edited 02-15-2021).]

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randye
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Report this Post02-15-2021 08:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for randyeClick Here to visit randye's HomePageClick Here to Email randyeSend a Private Message to randyeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:


The same rules work for both sides of the aisle. Mitch was right, the Dems will regret doing this in the future. One way or another.

Rams



Just like they always ignore the law of unintended consequences, Leftists also never learn from their past blunders:

https://www.washingtonpost....IQAeqtwTL_story.html

That monumental bit of Demorat jackassery came back to bite them very hard and Senator McConnell was right there to say "I told ya so".
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Report this Post02-15-2021 11:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NotorioSend a Private Message to NotorioEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by randye:

That monumental bit of Demorat jackassery came back to bite them ...


I love this new word of the day. Thanks!
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Report this Post02-16-2021 12:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for randyeClick Here to visit randye's HomePageClick Here to Email randyeSend a Private Message to randyeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Notorio:


I love this new word of the day. Thanks!



If you liked that then you'll love the new word of the day:

douchebaggery
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