Friday, July 24, 2015

What Happened to Harry Reid?

The Washington Examiner has a story titled, "McConnell and Reid may have just set a 51-vote threshold for passing Obamacare repeal." 

The story is interesting enough, but I can't stop looking at this picture. It's like Harry Reid is channeling Ray Charles. Reid says he had an accident while exercising. The less charitable say he was beaten up by his organized crime associates. Others say he was involved in S&M that got out of hand. Crazy stuff.

Have you noticed the Senate is actually moving on legislation, as is the House? Noticed how the cries of "disfunctional Congress" have subsided? I never subscribed to the theory of a broken government. To me it was a function of divided government. Divided government headed by a lackluster leader results in stasis. Nothing broken about that. Elections have consequences. Personnel changes. Life goes on.

"Next week, Senate Republicans could pass Obamacare repeal with a simple 51-vote majority as part of the long-term highway bill, according to Sen. Mike Lee.

The Utah Republican laid out the argument in a press release after party leaders set the sequencing of votes:

"The first Obamacare vote on Sunday will have a 60 vote threshold, and Democrats will likely block it," Lee continued. "But thanks to the sequencing of the votes we just locked in, Republicans will have the opportunity resurrect that Obamacare amendment later on in the process, and put it back before the Senate in a manner that only requires a simple-majority vote."

After cloture is reached on the Export-Import Bank amendment, senators will still be allowed to offer germane amendments to the highway bill, each of which would only require a simple-majority to pass. If the Chair rules that the Obamacare amendment is non-germane, Senate Rule 22 also allows any senator to appeal that ruling to the full Senate. At that point, a simple-majority of Senators would have the power to add the Obamacare repeal amendment to the highway bill.

If Lee is correct, then Democrats, in order to save Obamacare, would need to kill the highway bill — and thus their effort to restart the expired Export-Import Bank. (Unless, of course, Republicans bail Democrats out and sink the repeal efforts.)"


1 comment:

  1. An alternative explanation of why legislation is moving is that Republicans don't mind holding everything up when they don't get their way, whereas Democrats are unwilling to be that stubborn. According to that theory, when Republicans are in the minority but strong enough to block legislation, nothing will get done, but when Republicans are in the majority, stuff will get done. Potentially it could be the political equivalent of what some articles say, that being a jerk is actually (and unfortunately) the best way to get to the top.