from American Thinker

March 10, 2010

Reconciliation and the Senate Bill

By Marilyn M. Barnewall


Using reconciliation to ram through complicated, far-reaching legislation is an abuse of the budget process.  The writers of the Budget Act, and I am one, never intended for reconciliation’s expedited procedures to be used this way. These procedures were narrowly tailored for deficit reduction. They were never intended to be used to pass tax cuts, or to create new Federal regimes. Additionally, reconciliation measures must comply with Section 313 of the Budget Act, known as the Byrd Rule, which means that whatever health legislation is reported from the Finance Committee or legislation from any other Committee that is shoe-horned into reconciliation will sunset after five years. Additionally, numerous other non-budgetary provisions of any such legislation will have to be omitted under reconciliation. This is a very messy way to achieve a goal like health care reform, and one that will make crafting the legislation more difficult.