Now that ObamaCare has been declared constitutional (after a fashion), the GOP has announced it will use the process of reconciliation in its efforts to repeal the law. This seems only fitting and appropriate.
Reconciliation, which became part of the political junkie vernacular in 2009, is a parliamentary procedure designed to fast track passage of a bill by eliminating the possibility of a filibuster. Unlike in 2009, when a Democratic supermajority lacked the votes needed to pass the bill through normal channels and abused reconciliation, Republicans plan to use the process as it was intended—on budgetary matters.
Mike Franc, Vice President of Government Studies for the Heritage Foundation, explains the details of reconciliation’s applicability in an article at the Heritage’s blog The Foundary:
Now that the individual mandate has acquired the official constitutional status of a ‘tax’, there is no longer any doubt that the Congress, and more specifically the Senate, can repeal it pursuant to the simple majority vote threshold available under the Budget Act’s reconciliation process. Some Senate insiders were concerned that the reconciliation process would leave too much of Obamacare intact, including the individual mandate. But today’s decision, while alarming in so many other ways, dispels with [sic] that concern.
The mandate is now a revenue provision. Therefore, it is germane and not subject to a Senate parliamentary point of order to strike it from a repeal bill. The Senate’s filibuster process that would require a supermajority of 60 Senate votes to approve repeal is now irrelevant.
In other words, the resolution requires a simple majority of 51 votes to pass.
The idea of using reconciliation, aka the “nuclear option,” as a mechanism to repeal ObamaCare is nothing new. The recommendation was made in a GOP debate in October of 2011 by Rick Santorum and seconded by none other than Mitt Romney. Now that the funding for the law has been deemed a tax by no less a constitutional authority than the Supreme Court, the applicability of the process is unimpeachable.
It goes without saying that if the measure passes both houses of Congress and reaches the president’s desk, he will veto it. At least the irony of the process will not be lost.
- Should the GOP use the nuclear option to kill ObamaCare?
- John Roberts’ judicial activism and the health care law that time forgot
- Shared sacrifice: Cutting ObamaCare could save $2 trillion
- ObamaCare, the great job killer
- Why ObamaCare needs to be repealed, not tweaked
- New survey: 65% of doctors say healthcare quality will decline under ObamaCare
- Poll: 13% of Americans approve of the health care law as written
- It’s alive! Individual mandate upheld by SCOTUS (sort of)
- DNC executive director not only spikes football, but uses profanity
- Different candidates, different election, same media
- Obama’s ‘gotcha’ moment reveals his ignorance of the law
Subscribe at the top of the page to have my articles sent directly to your e-mail inbox. Follow me on Twitter or join me at Facebook. You can reach me at email@example.com or by posting a comment below.