07.31.2009 0

ALG in the News: Stop Reid’s ObamaCare ‘by any legislative means necessary’

  • On: 08/25/2009 09:27:55
  • In: Health Care
  • ALG Editor’s Note: In the following featured commentary, ALG Senior News Editor Robert Romano’s latest op-ed on Obamacare is featured in the Washington Examiner.

    Stop Reid’s ObamaCare ‘by any legislative means necessary’

    By: Robert Romano
    OpEd Contributor
    August 24, 2009

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has delivered his ultimatum to Republicans in the Senate. And it is nothing short of a coup of representative government. Either Republicans bow to the demands of the Senate’s Democratic leaders and pass a “bipartisan” bill, or Reid will invoke reconciliation, a process that requires only 51 votes to pass the bill.

    Reid’s problem is that he doesn’t have enough Senate Democrats to break a filibuster — which requires 60 votes. And so, he’s rolling the dice, gambling that the Senate parliamentarian will go along with his blatant breach of procedure and that his thuggish threats will cause Senate Republicans to capitulate to his demands.

    The truth is, however, this may be the only way President Barack Obama’s takeover of the nation’s entire health care system will be passed this year or any year. The so-called public “option” — which is not at all optional — cannot clear the 60 votes needed in the Senate. And a bill in the House without the public “option” cannot pass, either, thanks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the so-called “progressive” caucus.

    All of which leaves Reid, Pelosi and Obama with but one option: to change the rules and eliminate the filibuster in a sharp departure from more than 200 years of parliamentary history.

    According to Reid spokesman Jim Manley (washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/19/AR2009081904125.html?hpid=topnews), “The White House and the Senate Democratic leadership still prefer a bipartisan bill. However, patience is not unlimited, and we are determined to get something done this year by any legislative means necessary.”

    That’s right. “By any legislative means necessary.” Attila the Hun would be proud.

    To make matters worse, Reid’s dictatorial move is a definite shift to a “Senate-first” strategy to pass ObamaCare. In this scenario, Senate Democrats would pass the legislation through the “reconciliation” process and send the bill(s) directly to the House for a vote. Then, there wouldn’t be a conference bill, which would still need 60 votes in the Senate to get cloture.

    Instead, it would just get rubber-stamped against the express wishes of the American people… continue reading here.

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