Cynical Synapse

Thu, 25 Feb 2010

No Fair Except for Me—Dems Planning Nuclear Option

Filed under: Budget, Citizen rights, Congress, Economy, Government, Politics, President, Society, Take action — cynicalsynapse @ 6:18 am

Harry Reid and mushroom cloud

In 2005, Democratic Senators were up in arms over their Republican counterparts, who were the majority at the time, proposing to use the nuclear option to change Senate rules. At issue was Democrats using the filibuster to obstruct Pres. Bush’s judicial nominees. It’s important to note the purpose of the filibuster is to empower “41 or more senators to prevent a narrow majority from abusing its power.”

Nuclear option indignance

So, why are Democrats considering the nuclear option to pass health care reform? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wasn’t even bashful about an end run on Face to Face with Jon Ralston last Friday. It seems likely Democrats will use budget reconciliation rules to get around the fillibuster. Instead of the 60-member supermajority needed for cloture, such a bill would pass on a simple majority—51 or more Senators.

The drastic changes in the health care bill are not just a “budget reconciliation”. And the matter is far more serious, affecting over 300 million Americans, than Bush’s judicial nominees. Call, fax, write, or email your Senators to tell them you will not stand for circumventing the Founding Fathers’ intent on the legislative process, not even for health care reform.



  1. It’s looking more and more as if those communications you’re advocating would be useless. It’s also looking more and more as if we, the People, will be forced to put aside our more tender sensitivities and take stern and direct actions to remove the threat to our nation.

    As sad time indeed, but one that every true-hearted American could see coming for decades.

    Comment by jonolan — Thu, 25 Feb 2010 @ 7:20 am

  2. It is almost as though congress doesn’t care what we think. Yes the elections in MA scared them but they are right back at the threats to nuke this through. It appears they are OK with political suicide to have anything passed and a win for Obama.

    Comment by voicereason — Thu, 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:34 am

  3. @jonolan: You are so right! Thanks for stopping by.

    @>voicereason: I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. We should all make sure our Representatives and Senators know that going in. Maybe it will make them blink. Thanks for stopping by.

    Comment by Cynical Synapse — Thu, 25 Feb 2010 @ 11:39 am

  4. I don’t like this reconciliation anymore than most folks, and I don’t think the Democrats should use it this time. However, we can’t have it be ok for one political party and not ok for another. And determining what’s too important to not use it and what’s isn’t is too open for interpertation. Perhaps a rule should be established that says reconciliation can’t be used for spending amounts above a certain figure.

    Comment by The Old Man — Sat, 27 Feb 2010 @ 9:01 pm

    • Agreed, the rules need to be the same for both parties. Since the Republicans backed down when they were on the brink, the Democrats need to as well. Thanks for stopping by.

      Comment by cynicalsynapse — Sun, 28 Feb 2010 @ 9:58 am

  5. After some more research, I think there is a rule that applies here that should keep the Dems from using it. Its at – There are at least two that apply to not using reconciliation.

    Comment by The Old Man — Sun, 28 Feb 2010 @ 11:02 pm

    • I hope you’re right, Old Man. Things happening, or not, due to technicalities is one of my pet peeves. Except when a technicality ensures proper due process.

      Comment by cynicalsynapse — Mon, 08 Mar 2010 @ 8:38 pm

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