Friday, March 27, 2009

Is it amnesia, or stupidity?

It’s been reported this week, ad nauseum, that republican senators are considering shutting down the Senate through parliamentary maneuvers (the nuclear option they labeled it when Dems threatened to do the same thing during the BushWhacked Adminisration) if President Obama tries to use budget reconciliation to pass certain parts of his legislative agenda.

Budget reconciliation allows some legislation to be protected from ‘parliamentary maneuvers’ and allow passage with a simple majority… and, being the obstructionists hey are, republicans have a problem with this and some, such as Missouri’s Kit Bond, equate it to “Chicago politics” and are calling foul on the Obama Administration for doing such an “outrageous” thing.

Bond was merely echoing New Hampshire republican Senator Judd Gregg who said that any use of budget reconciliation by President Obama would be seen as an “act of violence” towards Republicans before likening the tactic to “running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River.”

Not to be outdone, Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) decided to join in and called it a “purely partisan exercise” and that it “would be a mess” respectively.

But what they’re failing to mention is that ex-President Bush (GOD I love saying that) also used budget reconciliations.

A lot.

An awful lot.

Case(s) in point: the 2001 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 1836, 3/26/01], the 2003 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 2, 3/23/03], the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 [HR 4297, 5/11/06] and the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 [H. Con Res. 95, 12/21/05] (HT to ThinkProgress for the handy-dandy links).

Furthermore, and this really should come as no surprise, the aforementioned Senators all supported Bush using the budget reconciliations.

Wow… how soon they forget.

As it is, it seems Senate Republicans seem to be suffering from some kind of strange political amnesia… because not only did Bush use this tactic, but so did Presidents Bill Clinton and (GASP), republican folk-hero Ronald Reagan.

And while Senators Bond, Gregg, Kyl and Hatch can’t see the forest from the trees one Republican Senator can…

Sen. John McCain.

Yes, Sen. McCain, the man who, during the presidential campaign, couldn’t even see how bad the US economy was, remembers and was the voice of reason about President Obama using budget reconciliations.

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation yesterday, McCain said; “I fully recognize that Republicans have in the past engaged in using reconciliation to further the party’s agenda. I wish it had not been done then, and I hope it will not be done now that the groundwork has been laid.”

Wow… when Sen. John McCain is the logical one, you know your party is in trouble.


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