Government gridlock … you ain’t seen nothing yet.

This may be obvious to the rest of the world, but it’s a new revelation to me … there’s no chance of anything material been passed out of Congress for quite awhile.

Why ? It centers on the Dems blatant use the 51-vote reconciliation process on ObamaCare to bypass the super-majority that’s traditional in the Senate.

Here’s a common scenario: The House passes a bill.  Then, the Senate passes a related, but different bill — the differences can be big or little — that doesn’t matter.

Under traditional rules, the two bills get consolidated by a conference committee and then is submitted to a majority vote in the House and a super-majority vote in the Senate.

Under reconciliation rules, the Senate’s super-majority is bypassed and 51 votes carries the day.

So what ?

Bottom line, the initial Senate bill — passed by a super-majority — is meaningless since it can be altered in the conference committee and passed back for a 51-vote reconciliation.

The only way that the minority party in the Senate has any residual clout is if it fillibusters initial bills so they don’t go to conference and reconciliation … or, if the Senate passes a House bill without changes — that wouldn’t be subject to conference and reconciliation. The latter has long odds for any material legislation.

So, expect GOPers to fillibuster just about everything.  Until the November elections, that is. 

Conceivably, the GOP will win back a majority in the Senate — but no way it gets to a super-majority.

So, the tables may get turned, with Dems fillbustering to stop the GOP from reconciling.

Follow all of that ?

The good news, in my opinion, is the likelihood of complete gridlock … for as far as the eye can see. 

One Response to “Government gridlock … you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

  1. Chris Says:

    Actually, reconciliation can only be used to amend current law. The only way the Senate could fix the original health care bill was to for the House to approve the bill “no one wanted to vote for” and the President sign it into law.

    It was only after that happened that the Senate could recon the House “fixes.”

    This was a risky gambit the House Dems played – there was a very real chance the Senate could have done nothing with the recon effort and we’d be stuck with the original Senate version.

    Given the outcry on the process and the fact the President and the Dems’ health care plan haven’t even enjoyed a dead cat bounce in the polls I’d say the grid lock with be within the Democratic party itself.

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