Reconciliation 101: A “Nuclear” Abuse of Power
Rory Cooper /
Why Reconciliation Exists
- What Is Reconciliation? Reconciliation is an optional step of the annual budget process that allows legislation to be approved by 51 votes in the U.S. Senate rather than the traditional 60 votes necessary to withstand a filibuster. This could also be achieved with 50 votes plus Vice President Biden as the 51st.This process is a shortcut that limits debate, including floor debate, to only 20 hours.
- The Purpose? Reconciliation was created to streamline Senate rules to make it easier for lawmakers to achieve the spending and tax levels in the budget resolution. It was not created to circumvent the Senate’s traditional role as the “world’s greatest deliberative body” and its 60-vote requirement in order to ram through what may be the most significant domestic legislation in our history. The health care bill’s impact goes well beyond the budget. (more…)