By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
GOP has no intention of working with Democrats
Placeholder Image
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
“The Nuclear Option”, sounds kind of scary, doesn’t it? Well, it seems, that’s the whole point. As you probably know, that is the label the Republicans have given the Senate option to pass the Health Reform Bill by a simple majority, known as Budget Reconciliation. The reason behind the reconciliation process is to get around a threat by the opposing party of using a filibuster to kill a bill that cannot garner a sixty-vote super majority, which can override a Filibuster.

To be clear, the Democrats do not need to use reconciliation to pass the Health Reform Bill, it has already passed the House and it has already passed the Senate with a super majority and is now just waiting on the House to come to some sort of agreement to get the bill on the President’s desk. The Reconciliation option is only to be used to enact changes to the Senate bill to make it more acceptable to the House. Things like the so-called “Louisiana Purchase” and the “Nebraska Medicaid Deal”, among others. These are basically the eleven pages the President showed the American public during the so-called “Health Care Summit” held at Blair House with both Republicans and Democrats. It was the result of this “summit” that caused the Democrats and the President to finally come to the conclusion (Duh!) that Republicans had no intentions of working with the Democrats to produce any kind of Health Reform Bill and whose only intention was to kill the Democrat bill which in turn, would tarnish the President’s agenda. Republican Senator Jim DeMint said way back in July, “If we’re able to stop Obama on (Health care reform) it will be his Waterloo”. How clear is that?

As near as I can tell, the term “Nuclear Option” was first used in 2005 when Senate Republicans became exasperated with Democrats who were using the filibuster against judicial nominees. Not a new thing, the filibuster had been used before by both parties, lately it has been used by the Republicans on most everything, over 200 times is the number I came across. Anyway, Republicans threatened to impose the “Nuclear Option” by changing the rules mid-session by a majority vote to forbid filibustering judicial nominees and only judicial nominations, which are the kind of vote a filibuster might make sense. I believe the filibuster should be eliminated and we should go back to majority rules, that is why one party gains the majority, because the people vote for them and expect them to get things done. If you can’t get 60 votes, and the minority threatens to use the filibuster, nothing gets done, as has been the case as of late. In the Senate, it appears, the minority rules.

So “changing the rules at mid-session or any unusual legislative procedures” and “reconciliation” are two different things altogether.  Just because the Republicans call both things “The Nuclear Option” does not make them the same thing. It does, however, make it sound ominous, doesn’t it? Like I said before, that’s the whole point.
Larry Baca
March 2, 2010