Thursday, February 4, 2010

Should the Reconciliation Act be rescinded?

Should the Reconciliation Act be rescinded?
Al Ritter

Under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 the Reconciliation Act grew legs; the move was created to approve budget spending measures to avoid filibuster. Often referred to as the Byrd Rule for Sen. Robert Byrd it was adopted in 1985 then amended in 1990. Its main effect is that reconciliation cannot be used for provisions that would increase the deficit beyond 10 years after the reconciliation measure.

In this light the Clinton Healthcare Reform was shot down and in real time measures the new Health Care reform shouldn’t be allowed either. Even Senator Robert Byrd doesn’t think it should be used for this purpose, and has said so on numerous occasions.
The biggest question is…….is this rule/law even Constitutional? In Section 7 of the Constitution it states…

“Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.”

This statement has been part of our Constitution from the beginning, and yet the Byrd Rule circumvents the very idea of a 2/3rds majority, and reduces it to a simple 51% majority, making it unconstitutional in its very wording.

This all hinges on what you think is more important… be considered a Republic (a country of laws), or are we a Democracy (a rule by a simple majority). Even the Constitution has an opinion on this, and it is found in Article 4 Section 4 where it states……

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

It depends on what form of government you see as acceptable, or better still, what our founding father had intended, and whether you believe the Constitution is, a document to be followed, or a “living document,” an instrument to changed at the whim of a simple majority, depending on what party is in office at the time.

If you like the article you just read, please take the time to subscribe to Al’s personal subscription list, go here, and type “subscribe” in the subject box, Thanks!


Kevin said...

Thought provoking.

barb p said...

Seems to be a very sad question...

Anonymous said...

Nice post and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.

Anonymous said...

hi everybody

just signed up and wanted to say hello while I read through the posts

hopefully this is just what im looking for looks like i have a lot to read.

Anonymous said...


It is my first time here. I just wanted to say hi!