Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Press and Reconciliation


Many people (not you) are leary of reconciliation because big media tries to portray it as something complicated, 'abnormal,' shady.

Kevin Drum makes the case for how simple, ordinary, transparent this process is. And he does a damn fine job of it.

It was created in 1974 as a way of ensuring that annual budgets could be passed without being filibustered.

It has been used to pass the annual budget in all but seven years since 1980. It's a routine procedure used by both Republicans and Democrats.

It was used to pass Ronald Reagan's 1981 tax cut and both of George Bush's big tax cuts.

It was used to pass welfare reform.

Virtually every healthcare reform of the past three decades, including COBRA, EMTALA, S-CHIP, and others has been passed via reconciliation.

There's nothing wrong with the media reporting that Republicans oppose the use of reconciliation to amend the healthcare bill. Of course they do. But they owe it to their audience to explain that reconciliation does nothing more than allow a simple majority vote to pass budgetary issues and that it's been used routinely by both parties for decades. That's just the simple truth.

See? That wasn't so difficult. Now you can pass this on to your friends who are still confused.

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Note: Headline links to source. Clicking on image will enlarge it (usually).

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