Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Quote of the Day: Norman Ornstein on Republican hypocrisy (on reconciliation and "deem and pass")

Ornstein is a long-time Congress-watcher who knows what he's talking about:

Any veteran observer of Congress is used to the rampant hypocrisy over the use of parliamentary procedures that shifts totally from one side to the other as a majority moves to minority status, and vice versa. But I can't recall a level of feigned indignation nearly as great as what we are seeing now from congressional Republicans and their acolytes at the Wall Street Journal, and on blogs, talk radio, and cable news. It reached a ridiculous level of misinformation and disinformation over the use of reconciliation, and now threatens to top that level over the projected use of a self-executing rule by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the last Congress that Republicans controlled, from 2005 to 2006, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier used the self-executing rule more than 35 times, and was no stranger to the concept of "deem and pass." That strategy, then decried by the House Democrats who are now using it, and now being called unconstitutional by WSJ editorialists, was defended by House Republicans in court (and upheld). Dreier used it for a $40 billion deficit reduction package so that his fellow GOPers could avoid an embarrassing vote on immigration. I don't like self-executing rules by either party -- I prefer the "regular order" -- so I am not going to say this is a great idea by the Democrats. But even so -- is there no shame anymore?

Please note that Ornstein published this post at the blog of the American Enterprise Institute, hardly a bastion of liberal Democratic thought.

As for his question, no, there is no shame anymore, certainly not in the GOP.


By the way, you can find tons of reaction to "deem and pass" over at Memeorandum.

In particular, Ezra Klein has a brief explanation and some justifiable concern:

So here's what's happening: The House has to pass the Senate bill before the reconciliation fixes can be attached. But they don't want to do that. So they're passing the reconciliation fixes and deeming the Senate bill passed as part of that. This might work if Americans were extremely sensitive to the minutia of congressional procedure. Instead, Democrats have shot themselves in the foot and given themselves many more problems than if they'd just said the Senate bill is a big step forward and our fixes will make it even better and voted to pass both.

Alas. (Still, what must be done must be done.)

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home