Reconciliation Was Never Intended For Policy As Complex As Health Care — And It Shows
Because of the process Republicans are using to roll back health care is tied to how the provisions affect the budget, they have backed themselves somewhat into a corner.
The New York Times:
Republican Gamble On Fast-Track Rules For Health Care Hits Wall
With the economy stagnating and Congress bridling at President Richard Nixon’s heavy-handed spending controls, lawmakers in 1974 created a fast-track procedure to help make the tough decisions on rising budget deficits and swelling entitlement spending. Since then, that process — called reconciliation — has been warped for many purposes, including large tax cuts, but never has it been used for the kind of complex policy making that Republicans are trying to do now with health care. And it is showing. (Pear, 7/26)
Meanwhile, a look at what the vote-a-rama actually is —
The Byzantine Ritual That Sits Between The GOP And Health Care Reform
Senators must endure dozens of policy amendments in rapid-fire succession stretching late into the night, a marathon procedure former New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg once described as “the Senate’s equivalent to Chinese water torture.” Only after the Democrats tire themselves out do Republican leaders get the opportunity to tee up a final vote on some sort of health care proposal, although the end game remains extraordinarily fuzzy at this point. (Hallerman, 7/27)