Democrats are trying to defuse criticism of their attempts to pass the same federal healthcare reforms that the American public already rejected and they are trying to do through misuse of the legislative process called reconciliation. They are doing so by claiming that Republicans have used the process of reconciliation in the past. This is true. However it is also true that Republicans have not passed any legislation through the process of reconciliation that dealt with any major national overhaul of anything that was not limited to the federal budget.
That difference is essential and the reason for the essential difference between Republican use of reconciliation regarding budgetary matters and Democrat attempts to use the process for healthcare reform is as follows.
The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 created a “Reconciliation” process that was meant to deal strictly with the budget. It was specifically meant to be used regarding the passage of budgets effecting a single fiscal year and primarily on proposed spending and revenue legislation that was being dealt with at specific points in the budget process.
Below you will see all the bills that were passed by Democrats and Republicans in Congress recosiliation since 1980.
Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1980, Pub.L. 96-499 (1980)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Pub.L. 97-35 (1981)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1982, Pub.L. 97-253 (1982)
Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA), Pub.L. 97-248 (1982)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1983, Pub.L. 98-270 (1984)
Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (DEFRA), Pub.L. 98-369 (1984)
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), Pub.L. 99-272
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986, Pub.L. 99-509 (1986)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, Pub.L. 100-203 (1987)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989, Pub.L. 101-239 (1989)
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, Pub.L. 101-508 (1990).
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, Pub.L. 103-66 (1990). Balanced Budget Act of 1995, H.R. 2491 (vetoed December 6, 1995)
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, Pub.L. 104-193 (1996)
Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Pub.L. 105-33 (1997)
Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Pub.L. 105-34 (1997) Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act of 1999, H.R. 2488 (vetoed September 23, 1999)
Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000, H.R. 4810 (vetoed August 5, 2000)
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), Pub.L. 107-16 (2001)
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, Pub.L. 108-27 (2003) Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Pub.L. 109-171 (2006)
Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (TIPRA), Pub.L. 109-222 (2006)
College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Pub.L. 110-84 (2007)
Look at that list.
Now add healthcare reform to it.
“The American healthcare reform act of 2010”
Does anthing strike you as being different or standing out on such a list?
Then there is this. In 1985, long serving West Virginia Democrat Senator Robert Byrd championed an amendment to the reconciliation process that would prohibit its use for any action that would effect the deficit beyond 10 years after that specific reconciliation measure was passed. This is why the Bush tax cuts were created to last for only ten years. During Bush’s presidency, the three major tax cuts that he was responsible for, were passed by reconciliation and to satisfy the requiremens that t reconciliation called for, the tax cuts were limited to the ten year clause of the reconciliation process.
These are the facts which limited Republicans to the proper use of reconciliation. They are important facts, facts that Democrats are leaving out when they accuse Republicans of having used reconciliation in the past, and then try to claim is the reason why Democrats can use it to pass a government takeover of healthcare in America in the future.
The claim is a half truth and an attempt to decieve. The reasons for that conclusion are as such.
First, the Democrat healthcare takeover scheme most certainly effects the budget beyond the 10 year mark that reconciliation required.
Second, the proposed government healthcare takeover contains legislative initiatives that deal with far more than taxes or the budget which is effected by taxes. It is a major reform of a significant portion of the national economy, places mandates on individuals and businesses, increases the size of government and creates new government panels, bureaus, departments, and agencies, changes regulations and reforms the process of health treatment decisions.
This goes far beyond anything that reconciliation was ever meant to deal with.
It is also MOST important to know this additional crucial fact.
In 1993, when Hillary Clinton wrote the healthcare reform proposal that Bill Clinton was championing, he tried to pass it through reconciliation. However; Democrat Senator Robert objected on the grounds that healthcare reform was so broad, that it effected and dealt with much more than reconciliation theoretically allowed for.
Now, 17 years later, reconciliation is suddenly alright to use for passage of healthcare reform?
NO! IT IS NOT ALRIGHT! It is wrong! It was wrong then and it is wrong now.
So while Democrats may gain some traction by trying to label Republicans as hypocrites because of their own use of reconciliation in the past but now object to Democrats use of it, a look at the facts, is proving that Democrats are lying through their teeth.
Republicans never passed a major overhaul of life in America with a simple partisan majority. Furthermore; they never passed a major overhaul of life in America over the objections of the American people.
To be sure, elections have ramifications. As a result of the 2008 elections, Democrats have complete control over the House, the Senate and the White House. As such, Republicans must understand that those majorities can and will be used to pass legislation that Republicans may oppose. However; one of the ramifications of the 2008 election should not be the illegal use of a process that is designed to insure that a clear and somewhat bi-partisan majority is used to pass any legislation that significantly changes life in America.
So any attempts to paint Republicans as hypocrites on the issue of reconciliation is not only dishonest, it is evidence of a conspiracy to mislead the American people and an attempt for Democrats to abuse their power through the improper use of the reconciliation process.
The more Democrats push this, the more excuses they make and the more they try to deceive the American people and advance legislation that the American people oppose, and try to do so through a process that they oppose, the harder Democrats shall fall in the coming months. And from there, rapidly, shall the presidency of Barrack Obama begin to unravel and the liberal majority in Congress will quickly begin to fade away into ineffectiveness and obscurity.
Stop the lies. If the President and the liberal lead Congress truly want bipartisanship, than stop trying to find a way to pass a major overhaul of American life through partisan measures.