Posts Tagged ‘51 votes’

What To Look For In Defeating The Democrats’ Nuclear Option

March 2, 2010

I most certainly hope Carole is correct in her article below.  In any event, hers is a good article describing the key hurdles Democrats intent to force their ObamaCare boondoggle through will have to overcome.

Obama’s House Is Leaking Votes
By Carole on Feb 28, 2010

There’s been much speculation lately on the fate of Obamacare in the US Senate. The ins and outs of reconciliation, once a little known technicality in the rules of that legislative body, are now common knowledge to political junkies of all ideologies. But the actual death bed of the president’s unpopular and obscenely expensive plan will most likely be the US House of Representatives.

Even if Democrats have the 51 votes they need in the Senate and the Republicans decide against proposing a flood of amendments that could indefinitely stall the reconciliation bill, Mr. Obama and his accomplices would still have to get the votes needed to pass Obamacare in the House.

In November, the House passed its version of health care reform with just two votes to spare; prevailing 220-215 with the help of Representative Anh “Joseph” Cao (R-Louisiana) who has said he will not back it again. (source) And Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) won’t be able to count on all of her fellow Democrats this time around either.

Two major changes that will affect this round of voting:

The first is the radical change in the political climate since November of 2009. While some Democrats who claim to be fiscally conservative and who represent traditionally Republican districts were somehow able to ignore the messages sent by voters in New Jersey and Virginia, they cannot ignore the one sent from Massachusetts just last month. The election of Senator Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) clearly demonstrated what is likely to happen to the careers of elected officials who support Obamacare despite the wishes of their constituents.

The second major difference between November’s vote on health care reform and the next one in the House is that the bill passed last year included the Stupak Amendment. Of the 219 Democrats who voted ‘yes’ last time, 40 did so only because the bill contained that amendment preventing taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions. Those 40 representatives will almost certainly switch their ‘yes’ votes to ‘no’ since the new version of the bill being pushed by President Obama would strip out the abortion restrictions in favor of Senate language that many consider unacceptable. (source)

Republican House Whip Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) recently outlined the House changes since that first health care bill passed and said he now believes there’s no way to pass health care in the House with only Democratic votes. According to Mr. Cantor’s count, Speaker Pelosi doesn’t have more than maybe 202 votes; well short of the 217 needed to pass the second (and hopefully final) Obamacare bill. (source)

The last time President Obama and his cronies came up short on votes for his signature domestic issue, they started bribing Senators with hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to get the votes they needed. The public now wise to this tactic and Senators Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) and Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) have become examples to their legislative brethren of what happens to the political prospects of anyone who chooses Team Obama’s arm twisting and bribes over the expressed wishes of their constituents.

I personally believe that the Senate Republicans would be wise to first inform/threaten to use their option to shut down the Senate with endless amendments, and then follow through if the Democrats actually try to use reconciliation (aka the ‘nuclear option’).

Why?  Because I think the public would turn further against the nuclear option if they understand how extreme this tactic is, and just what the consequences of pursuing it would be.

Here’s what Senator Robert Byrd, who not only wrote the reconciliation procedure but is a Democrat to boot, said of the Democrats’ attempt:

Americans have an inalienable right to a careful examination of proposals that dramatically affect their lives. I was one of the authors of the legislation that created the budget “reconciliation” process in 1974, and I am certain that putting health-care reform and climate change legislation on a freight train through Congress is an outrage that must be resisted.

Using the reconciliation process to enact major legislation prevents an open debate about critical issues in full view of the public. Health reform and climate change are issues that, in one way or another, touch every American family. Their resolution carries serious economic and emotional consequences.

The misuse of the arcane process of reconciliation — a process intended for deficit reduction — to enact substantive policy changes is an undemocratic disservice to our people and to the Senate’s institutional role. Reconciliation, with its tight time limits, excludes debate and shuts down amendments. Essentially it says “take it or leave it” to the citizens who sent us here to solve problems, and it prevents members from representing their constituents’ interests. Everyone likes to win, and the Obama administration, of course, wants victories. But tactics that ignore the means in pursuit of the ends are wrong when the outcome affects Americans’ health and economic security. Let us inform the people, get their feedback, allow amendments to be considered and hear opposing views. That’s the American way and the right way.

If the public says it wants an end to the partisan bickering, they need to realize that the nuclear option would create nothing short of a full-blown war that could poison our political system for years, even decades, to come.

If the Democrats who deceitfully keep talking about “bipartisanship,” they should bloody well get one.  And the American people should be told in advance what that total war the Democrats will be starting would look like.

Second, I think it is vital that the American people be informed of just what the Democrats themselves said about the use of the nuclear option just a few years ago.

The following is a very short summary of the statements (fully cited here) made by key Democrats about how vile the use of reconciliation would be:

  • It is “a change in the Senate rules” that “would change the  character of the Senate forever.”
  • It is “majoritarian absolute power” which is “just not what the founders intended.”
  • It is “the precipice of a crisis, a constitutional crisis.”
  • It evaporates “the checks and balances which have been at the core of this Republic.”
  • It is “almost a temper tantrum.”
  • It is the abandonment of the concept of “a check on power” and an     abandonment of that which “preserves our limited government.”
  • It is something that “will turn the Senate into a body that could have its rules broken at any time by a majority of senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority.”
  • It “is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power.”
  • It “is a fundamental power grab.”
  • It “is a tyranny of the majority.”
  • It is “where the majority rules supreme and the party of power can dominate and control the agenda with absolute power.”
  • It is a “naked power grab.”
  • It is to “change the rules, break the rules, and misread the Constitution so that they will get their way.”
  • It is “The Senate … being asked to turn itself inside out, to ignore the   precedent to ignore the way our system has worked, the delicate balance   that we have obtain that has kept this Constitution system going, for immediate gratification of the present President.”
  • It is “the way Democracy ends. Not with a bomb but with a gavel.”

How can it possibly be that – when the Republicans merely CONSIDERED using it in a way that nevertheless didn’t come anywhere NEAR the Democrats’ takeover of our entire medical system representing one-sixth of our national economy – it was so terrible, but now it is somehow justified???

The fact of the matter is that the Democrats condemn their present course as genuinely evil in their very own words.

We need to defeat health care.  It is amazing that fully 60% of the health care system is now already controlled by the government, which is running it a mind-boggling deficit of unfunded liability.  On what planet is it sane to say we need to save a failing system that has been taken over by the government by giving the government even more total control?

An analogous example would be for me to hit your car engine with a sledge hammer.  And when it starts running really crappy I tell you that all I need to do to fix the problems is give it another couple of good hard whacks.

I end by citing an article that every American should read which reveals what our health care system will one day look like if the Democrats’ sledgehammer attack is allowed to proceed.

The Nuclear Option: Will Yet ANOTHER Obama Promise Go Up In Smoke?

October 27, 2009

It is amazing how many promises Barack Obama has broken since taking office.  The man literally began his presidential path with a lie, having promised on Meet the Press not to run for the White House, but to finish out his Senate term.

Obama has a huge documented record of liesGoing back for years.  And he has taken his deceit train to healthcare land.

Looks like you can add another lie to the list.

From Freedom’s Lighthouse:

Here is audio of Barack Obama as a candidate in 2007 where he said flatly “we are not going to pass universal health care with a fifty plus one strategy.” Obama said “you can’t govern” if you go about things in that way.

But now, of course, the Democrats are contemplating the use of just such a “Nuclear Option” to ram ObamaCare through.

Go to Freedom’s Lighthouse where the audio is embedded.  Or click on the link here to hear yet another Democrat health care lie.

Reconciliation As Nuclear Option: Note To Democrats – Republicans Have THEIR ‘Nuclear Option,’ Too

August 20, 2009

So I drag a woman walking down the sidewalk into a dark ally and tell her I would very much like to have sex with her – and it has to be done now, without debate.  She refuses; no negotiation, no compromise.  And of course I rape her.  The question is, who is to blame for the rape?

According to the Democrats’ view, it is clearly the woman.

President Barack Obama now realizes he probably will have to pass health reform with Democratic votes alone, White House officials say…

“We were forced into this by Republicans,” one official said.

Headline: “I was forced to rape…,” claims rapist.

The Republicans are like the woman; they oppose a government takeover of health care the way the woman opposes having sex with a stranger.  But because they stand up for their principles and refuse to compromise their values, they get raped.

The Republicans can’t stop anything the Democrats do.  Democrats have an overwhelming majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.  Demagoguing Republicans for the Democrats’ failure to come together is both absurd and immoral.  It is transparently false.  The only real battle going on is between liberal and conservative Democrats.

So why blame Republicans?  Because Democrats are demagogues.

Today Obama said:

“I think early on, a decision was made by the Republican leadership that said, ‘Look, let’s not give him a victory, maybe we can have a replay of 1993, ’94, when Clinton came in, he failed on health care and then we won in the mid-term elections and we got the majority. And I think there are some folks who are taking a page out that playbook,”

It doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that Democrats haven’t offered Republicans ANYTHING they want, but only EVERYTHING they hate.  It’s not about the fact that not only were Republicans shut out of crafting health care legislation, but even Blue Dog DEMOCRATS were shut out of the process.

This is so like Obama: he depicts himself as standing loftily above everyone around him as the sole determiner of truth and justice – and then anyone who disagrees with him has the lowest politically partisan motives.  It’s really a remarkable trick for a man who was THE most liberal US Senator the year before he began his run for the presidency.

When Democrats talk about “going solo,” they aren’t just talking about using their overwhelming majority to impose ObamaCare – because they don’t have the Democrat votes for it.  Rather, they are talking about using a rare parliamentary procedure called “reconciliation”:

The debate over health care reform could be heading in a new direction. Democrats are considering going at it alone. That would mean trying to pass it without Republican support.

Caution: Relations between Dems and the GOP could get toxic.

Caution: Relations between Dems and the GOP could get toxic.

Democrats want to use a process called reconciliation. It would only require 51 votes in the Senate to get a health care bill passed. Normally, a bill would require 60 votes to be passed. Also, with the reconciliation process, only 20 hours of debate would be allowed, no filibuster would be allowed, stamping out opposition debate.

Reconciliation was created for budget items, because the federal government has a constitutional requirement to pass a budget.  The measure has never been used to advance legislation – although Bill Clinton threatened to use it to ram through his health care plan in 1993.  Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, who drafted the reconciliation process in 1974, was opposed to Clinton’s maneuver – just as he is opposed to Barack Obama’s doing it now.

Even Robert Byrd is adamant that reconciliation not be used to reform healthcare, as it leads down a slippery slope. Byrd is important here, because he developed the now-called Byrd Rule, that sets six conditions by which a provision can be excluded from reconciliation. This was intended to prevent abuse of the reconciliation tactic; otherwise, what stops anyone at anytime using this trick to avoid filibuster? The six conditions simply demand that if any provision of the bill is not about the budget, deficits, surpluses, or funding, then the whole package is thrown out.

This illegitimate abuse of the reconciliation as a “nuclear option” would poison any chance of bipartisanship for years – even decades – to come.

But it is well within the mindset of a president who falsely promised to be a “‘new politician’ who had risen above the partisan divide and didn’t have to lower himself into the gutter of the political past.”

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a different occasion.

Using reconciliation as a nuclear option wouldn’t be lowering oneself in a gutter; it would be growing gills and living in a sewer system filled with the very worst kind of toxic waste.

Republicans are finally starting to learn – about a decade late – that it’s time they started bringing guns to the fight with Democrats, too.

Don’t think the use of reconciliation won’t have massive consequences.

It should be known that Republicans have a nuclear option of their own:

[T]he Republicans can shut down the Senate for the next  year.  Those unfamiliar with the parliamentary procedure may not realize that a great many steps get skipped by unanimous consent.  Bill-reading is just one example.  One Senator can force each and every bill to be read aloud at every appearance it makes on the Senate floor, including when they are sent to committee.  For ObamaCare and cap-and-trade, one bill reading could take a week, keeping the Senate floor locked off from any other business.

All Republicans can do is stand up for their conservative values, and try to rally the American people to their cause.  They can’t stop the Democrats from passing a massive government takeover of health care along party lines.  They can’t even mount a filibuster without Democrats crossing over to join them.

All Democrat lies aside; this isn’t about a bill that Republicans won’t support.  It’s about a bill that can’t even sustain Democrat support.

If Democrats invoke the illegitimate process of a nuclear option to pass health care, they will start the nastiest war this country has seen since our Civil War in 1861.  It will lead to a political climate that will be uglier than any American has ever seen in his or her lifetime.

The conservative American Spectator writes:

While the White House has been floating the idea of using reconciliation to pass health care legislation with a simple majority of 51 votes, it should be seen as an empty threat. Let’s even set aside the fact that it would be a declaration of war that would shut down the Senate, that it would remove any pretense that Obama is a post-partisan president, and that ramming an unpopular bill down the throats of the public is not a politically astute move. Even if Democrats wanted to risk all of that for the greater goal of passing health care legislation, they couldn’t do it.

I hope they are right.  But I will not be the least bit surprised if it isn’t an empty threat at all.  Rather, what I regard as “empty” was the “post-partisan” promises (dare I say it again) of THE most liberal U.S. Senator the year before he ran for the presidency.

Be vigilant.  And be ready to go absolutely ballistic if this massive violation into our constitutional democracy is rammed down our throats.


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