But with the House about to pass a revised healthcare bill, costing $2 trillion in the decade after it becomes effective (or more), via the abnormal "reconciliation" process, Hawkins forgets to ask who said this?:
The TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] program affects millions of American children and families and deserves a full and fair debate. Under the rules, the reconciliation process does not permit that debate. Reconciliation is therefore the wrong place for policy changes and the wrong place for the proposed changes to the TANF program. In short, the reconciliation process appears to have lost its proper meaning. A vehicle designed for deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility has been hijacked to facilitate reckless deficits and unsustainable debt.Answer: Senator Barack Obama -- 151 Cong. Rec. S14150 (daily ed. Dec. 20, 2005). Meaning, in a reverse-echo of Senator Kerry, Obama was against reconciliation before he was for it.1 Also meaning, dude, whatever ("I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or the Senate."). Well, dude, you used to.
Diogenes could still find a few honest Democrats, but most will vote for the bad bill anyway. And then try to pass one that's even worse. This would prolong a two-decade blunder--the legislative equivalent of repeatedly betting on "double zero" and expecting perpetual wins.
(via Drug Wonks, Fausta's Blog, Neo-Neocon)
1 Amusingly, Congresswoman Slaughter, now the advocate of the "deemed passed" approach, once sued (unsuccessfully) to have the courts outlaw reconciliation.