Given that the Supreme Court has narrowly ruled in favor of the Affordable Care At, its final potential test is now with the voters in the 2012 election. In a supreme act of hypocrisy Mitt Romney, the political father of this exact style of health care program in Massachusetts, and the rest of the Republican party have made repeal of Obamacare a fundamental campaign promise. It is a day one promise from the Romney campaign.
|By: Jon Walker Friday November 4, 2011 9:40 am|
Instead of the media spreading myths about how powerless our politicians are to change anything, it should tell the American people what they actually could do if they wanted to. The American people deserve to know the truth that our politicians can actually fulfill many of their promises and that they are simply choosing not to.
|By: Jon Walker Friday October 14, 2011 12:30 pm|
There is a widely believed myth that a Republican Senate could not use reconciliation to repeal most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. But that view ignores the history of how the reconciliation rules have been used, as well as the ability of a Senate majority to interpret or change its rules.
|By: Jon Walker Monday April 26, 2010 12:33 pm|
If the Democrats want to pass anything in the Senate with 50 votes over the course of the next year, they have to decide now what they want to use reconciliation for and include that in next year’s budget resolution.
|By: Jon Walker Tuesday April 20, 2010 4:30 pm|
Well, that was very quick turn around. In 24 hours, Democrats went from not asking for budget reconciliation instructions to planing to include them. This is potentially very good news for progressives. Reconciliation at least gives Democrats the option of possibly achieving some progressive legislative victories this year.
|By: Jon Walker Wednesday April 7, 2010 3:36 pm|
Members of Congress and progressive organizations have begun talking more about the Local Jobs For America Act. It is a good bill that should actually help to create and save jobs while temporarily helping to ease the crushing financial shortfalls faced by the states. Also, the bill has the added benefit of containing the word “Job” in the title.
|By: Jon Walker Tuesday April 6, 2010 12:00 pm|
If you want to pass a reconciliation bill in the Senate that can’t be filibustered, to overcome Republican obstructionism, you first need to have reconciliation instructions included in a budget. What reconciliation instructions are included in the budget are critical to passing laws over potentially Republican and conservative Democratic obstructionism, and serves as a clear indication of where the Democratic leadership’s true priorities lay. I will be waiting to see exactly what reconciliation instructions are included in the upcoming budget and what they could be used for. It is something the entire progressive community should be focused on intensely because it will be a good indication of whether Congressional Democrats feel any obligation to fulfill their policy promises.
|By: Jon Walker Monday March 29, 2010 11:50 am|
To bring up a reconciliation bill, Congress must first include reconciliation instructions to deal with a specific issue in a budget resolution. This is why the reconciliation instructions included in the upcoming budget resolution are so important.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) promised Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) a vote on the public option in the next few months. The public option can’t overcome a filibuster, so its only hope of becoming law is using a reconciliation bill. The only way a reconciliation bill can be used to pass a public option is if Congress first passed a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions that could be used for health care-related matters. If the upcoming budget does not include reconciliation instructions that could be used for health care, then you know Reid and Sanders were just blowing smoke.
|By: David Dayen Thursday March 25, 2010 7:16 am|
Democrats, showing unusual spunk, forced Republicans to go deep into the night to vote on their amendments, all of which failed with the Democratic caucus holding together. This was basically the “make them filibuster” moment that, we are often told, would captivate the nation and force everyone to recognize who is holding back progress for the American people. Weren’t you captivated, last night, at 2:45am?
|By: Jon Walker Wednesday March 24, 2010 3:45 pm|
Oh, poor, poor Michael Bennet (D-CO). He just doesn’t seem to understand how the legislative process works. He took to the Senate floor to praise what the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”–which was signed yesterday by President Obama–will do. That bill is now law. Today they are working on a completely different bill, a budget reconciliation bill, which mostly contains some tax changes that will not go into effect for years.
It is completely within his power to get a vote on the public option at this very moment because of the rules of reconciliation. All he needs to do is offer an amendment, and it will get an up-or-down vote in the Senate. In fact, a reconciliation that deals with health care is basically the only time Bennet can be assured to get an up-or-down vote on the public option.