Future Stimulus Add-Ons Not Subject To 60 Vote Requirement?

So says Stan Callender:

[T]he 2010 budget process could include a reconciliation bill that increases spending or reduces revenues or both that, because of the rules, won't be subject to a filibuster in the Senate. In addition, the budget resolution that has to be adopted before a reconciliation bill can happen also can't be filibustered.

Problem with that is any bill that violates PAYGO in the Senate (or so Kagro X tells us) is subject to a point of order requiring 60 votes to waive:

The bill will be subject to a point of order due to its deficit spending, but the point of order can be waived by a 3/5 vote of the Senate. So that means passage would ultimately have required 60 votes whether Republicans filibustered or not.

If Kagro is right, then Callender is wrong in the essentials -- a future stimulus program enacted via the normal budget process WILL be subject to a 60 vote requirement.

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    We really need Franken (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by WS on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:23:42 PM EST
    in Washington.  That reduces the need to just one Republican for these major bills.  

    I suspect (none / 0) (#62)
    by cal1942 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:07:05 PM EST
    that the Coleman challenge was advanced for just this purpose, to insure that the GOP would be better able to torpedo Democratic initiatives.

    The necessity of prying loose two Republicans instead of one is more difficult, especially given the fact that the new Democratic President is willing (maybe eager) to be rolled.


    my sentiment exactly (none / 0) (#80)
    by jussumbody on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 12:32:02 AM EST
    The R's call bipartisanship date rape, but it's not rape if the "victim" gets off on it.  The Dem's just can't get enough of these rules that effectively tie their hands behind their backs, like paygo and the filibuster.  Those rules almost never apply to the R's.  They're like battered women/men that are always looking for their next significant other by answering personal ads from prison inmates.

    I can't remember where I've read that Franken (none / 0) (#85)
    by suzieg on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 06:35:43 AM EST
    admits $50,000 Tax Debt - I think it would be wise for him to stay low until all that "tax mistakes" period blows over

    no tax debt (none / 0) (#86)
    by DFLer on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 08:03:42 AM EST
    He paid all the taxes , but in some cases to the wrong state. Apparently he files around 17 different states' forms.

    You know.. (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by TheRealFrank on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:34:55 PM EST
    When intelligent people can't figure out how many votes exactly are needed to do what, that's a clear signal that something is very wrong with the democratic process.

    Hear hear (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:36:32 PM EST
    Makes it easier for the people (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:42:10 PM EST
    who really do know what's going on. And there aren't many.

    See you used the "D" word (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:55:56 PM EST
    The Senate was never conceived to be democratic. It's an institution steeped in process. It's like a model UN club on a cocktail of steroids and quaaludes.

    Senators were not even elected until around the time of the Titanic. The framers envisioned the Senate to be basically like the UN, where your Senators were basically your state's ambassadors to the our little UN, and their purpose was to represent the interests of your state's government, while your Representative in the House was there to represent your state's people.

    The 17th Amendment changed how Senators are chosen, but very little about how the body functions. And they still aren't 100% elected. See how many votes Senators Bennet, Burris, Gillebrand, et. al. got.


    I'm non record for abolishing the Senate (none / 0) (#74)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 12:00:06 AM EST
    even though I know that it's effectively impossible to do so constitutionally. It isn't even possible to apportion the seats fairly.

    They are both right and wrong (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:53:45 PM EST
    The Senate's PAYGO rule only applies to increases in entitlement spending or tax cuts. It does not apply to short-term spending, therefore a PAYGO point of order would not apply to stimulus.

    Now I am really lost (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:54:49 PM EST
    That's on purpose you know. :-) (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:57:29 PM EST
    They don't want us to understand how the sausage is made. If they did, the Senate wouldn't need a parliamentarian.

    Frak me (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:58:45 PM EST
    I hope Callender knows.

    more importantly, I hope somebody on our side knows.


    The jist of it is (none / 0) (#34)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:04:33 PM EST
    The Senate's PAYGO rule doesn't really mean "pay as you go", but "will be revenue neutral within X years," and I believe X is currently equal to six.

    That allows for the creation of revenue-generating programs that have an up-front cost without triggering PAYGO.

    Stimulus would seem to be right in line with that philosophy.


    I thought I understood (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:02:18 PM EST
    but I'm less confident tonight. How do you understand the Byrd rule?

    The Byrd Rule allows filibustering of a (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by steviez314 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:07:51 PM EST
    reconcilliation bill only if it contains either non-budget items or changes the surplus/deficit after 10 years.

    That's why Bush made his tax cuts expire in 2011...so it wouldn't fall under the Byrd Rule and be filibuster-able.


    So who does the math on these things? (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:13:47 PM EST
    The CBO? And does spending (even deficit spending) count as a non-budget item?

    There's the budget process (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:33:56 PM EST
    And then there's the increasingly common practice of "emergency supplemental" spending that affects our debt but not our deficit, because it happens off-budget. It's how we fund the War on Terra(tm).

    One of the reasons I have been sympathetic to some of the cuts from the stimulus is that some of those items really should be in the budget. I spent years castigating the Republican congress and Bush for making it look like the war didn't cost anything.


    No one except (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:38:06 PM EST
    maybe Russ Feingold would think to filibuster war spending. That's why I think more stimulus goodies are coming in the next war supplemental ($300b this time?)

    On the nosey (none / 0) (#37)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:09:40 PM EST
    The Byrd rule is distinct (none / 0) (#36)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:08:57 PM EST
    When considering a budget reconciliation, a Senator can raise a point of order that an any item in the budget or any amendment is "extraneous," but it has to fall under one of a short list of categories, and it takes 60 votes to sustain the point of order.

    It's sort of a reverse-cloture. It takes 60 votes to put whatever the Senator is objecting to on the table for discussion, otherwise it's off limits.


    Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:14:42 PM EST
    Under your description, it looks like Obama could get all sorts of spending through the haze of reconciliation.

    Can you clarify that? (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Maryb2004 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:39:27 PM EST
    The Dems can do a reconciliation bill that can't be filibustered as long there are no extraneous items and it doesn't change the surplus/deficit over 10 years - but the point of order pertaining to the extraneous item that would lead to the filibuster in the first place needs 60 votes to be sustained? (That's the part I find confusing).

    I'll try (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:50:58 PM EST
    Reconciliation bills can't be filibustered ever.

    But to keep Senators from paper-clipping their favorite earmarks (or tax cuts, or gay marriage ban, or whatever) on willy-nilly, any Senator can raise a point of order that the item or amendment is extraneous to the bill (the meaning of "extraneous" is defined in the rules).

    If the presiding officer of the Senate agrees, then the provision is stricken.

    The Senator who makes the point of order can appeal, at which point the Senators then vote on the appeal and if 60 agree, whatever was objected to can stay.


    So let's say (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:55:38 PM EST
    Joe Biden or some other friendly presiding officer rules that the item being objected to actually is in order. Presumably, the objector will appeal the ruling of the chair. Can the appeal be tabled? And if so, is motion to table debatable?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:05:10 PM EST
    See Rule 20 (but not without taking an aspirin prophylactically)

    A question of order may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, except when the Senate is voting or ascertaining the presence of a quorum, and, unless submitted to the Senate, shall be decided by the Presiding Officer without debate, subject to an appeal to the Senate. When an appeal is taken, any subsequent question of order which may arise before the decision of such appeal shall be decided by the Presiding Officer without debate; and every appeal therefrom shall be decided at once, and without debate; and any appeal may be laid on the table without prejudice to the pending proposition, and thereupon shall be held as affirming the decision of the Presiding Officer.

    2. The Presiding Officer may submit any question of order for the decision of the Senate.

    I read that to mean (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:08:21 PM EST
    that a motion to table an appeal of the ruling of the chair can succeed with 51 votes. But I'm not confident of that reading.

    Thanks for getting into the weeds on this: it is indeed aspiring worthy.


    Yes I believe that to be true (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:15:19 PM EST
    And weedy this stuff is. Friday night I was watching my new Senator Michael Bennet presiding (for the first time in his short tenure), which pretty much entailed reading a script the parliamentarian handed him, and in some cases parroting what she was telling him as she was saying it.

    I just wanted to give him a hug. What a time to be thrown into the fire. He did great though considering.


    I was watching (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:21:02 PM EST
    He did about as well as any other hapless freshman does, having to start every other sentence with "under the previous order." Eventually he'll get a golden gavel for presiding.

    He's pretty photogenic for a Senator.


    Got it. (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Maryb2004 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:57:50 PM EST

    FYI for commenters (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:20:37 PM EST
    Ditto actually knows about this stuff.

    This is an expert opinion.


    Good to know (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:27:12 PM EST
    I gathered that, reading through (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:31:52 PM EST
    this thread.  I am in awe.  And I say that as a former parliamentarian.

    I also find it hard to imagine, from what I've seen of the intellectual ability of many in Congress, that they know what the heck this all means.


    Thanks but (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:18:40 PM EST
    I learned all this stuff getting my man Mark elected and after a year and a half of watching the Senate serve as the place where good ideas go to die I learned to hate the whole institution. Now I just want to forget. :-)

    Ah, I saw him speaking (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 12:07:14 AM EST
    from the floor a few nights ago.  He did good -- and it's good to see the great name of Udall on the screen again. :-)  So you did good, too.

    I met him about 13 months ago (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 12:11:12 AM EST
    at a DLC (!!! ;)) event in Washington. He shared the "vote for the Udall nearest you" joke.

    So what is the bottom line? Do we need 60 (none / 0) (#40)
    by Teresa on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:18:37 PM EST
    or 51? (on the stimulus).

    60 (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:19:50 PM EST
    It's an emergency spending bill.

    But if we add more in the budget (none / 0) (#43)
    by Teresa on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:21:11 PM EST
    this summer, we're ok?

    Maybe not (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:27:03 PM EST
    that's complicated for different reasons.

    Yes and no (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:28:35 PM EST
    Some of the money, like the state stabilization money, will be too late by then, because the state legislatures will have closed the books on their FY10-11 budgets and already set in motion all the layoffs and school closures and whatever else.

    In order to reopen the books a lot of states would have to call a special session, and some states might only be able to do that if, for example, the governor ordered it.


    You can't be sure they'll do that (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:31:49 PM EST
    if there's a further shortfall, which there may well be in many states.

    PA has a full-time legislature, which I guess is somewhat rare.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#53)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:36:38 PM EST
    That's why we should agitate to get the state funding back in, even if that's at the cost of other items (ahem...tax cuts?).

    Colorado's legislature is only in session 120 days, and others even less. Texas is every other year if I remember correctly.


    I meant to write "can be sure." (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:40:09 PM EST
    If the states don't get extra funding, the cuts will have to be more draconian than they already are.

    Texas is, for all its faults (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 12:11:17 AM EST
    -- and they are legion -- interesting in having a legislature that, as I recall, meets for a total of about a month a year.

    My leggies could do less damage that way.  But they prefer to muddle along endlessly to collect their per diems -- to the point of scandal here.  The per diem setup is not a good idea, only encouraging them to set records in reluctance to settle budgets.  Many of us state workers have had to start the year without contracts, for one thing.  Worse, as citizens, we end up with state budgets achieved in states of exhaustion.  Or at least when the per diem budget begins to be exhausted, it seems.


    One of the reasons I like (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 12:12:33 AM EST
    having a full time legislature (with NO term limits) is that the Governor has an effective check on his power.

    Summers says fight for state funds (none / 0) (#82)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 02:44:49 AM EST
    is coming over the bill -- $40 billion that the House will want back in it again, according to MSNBC story.

    Now, with Obama's best bud Larry Summers saying this, it would suggest to me that the White House is hearing a LOT of flak about this cut from the bill.  Maybe there is hope for the states. . . ?

    I am in a position with responsibility to find -- as of Friday, and probably growing by the day -- 10% cuts in my part of state government.  I sure would like to lay off fewer people . . . as for one thing, then they will make less money and pay less income tax to the state, as well as the feds . . . and doesn't it seems a sensible thing to keep people employed to keep paying taxes?

    I'm just too simpleminded for Congress, clearly.  I can't even figure out the rules. :-)


    Starved for funds, facing deficits (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:35:00 PM EST
    and laying off state workers, including university teachers (which I note because parents can get good press about that, more than shortstaffed prisons) -- oh, I think that governors will call their leggies back to special sessions.

    Heck, in my state that sets national records for being late with the budget, special sessions aren't even that special anymore.


    I'm just an average citizen and (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by ap in avl on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:23:55 PM EST
    I'm completely lost here.  The fact that those of you who clearly know more about the process are confused by this as well.......well, that speaks volumes to me about this process.

    Who is driving this bus?

    The process is byzantine (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:26:40 PM EST
    and there are lots of little fiefdoms.

    I guess (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by ap in avl on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:29:42 PM EST
    I'm just one of many serfs toiling away out here.

    Need to work on that "whistle while you wor," part.


    I meant "work" (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by ap in avl on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:31:34 PM EST
    guess I'm fired......

    This will explain everything (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:36:00 PM EST
    heh (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:39:55 PM EST
    Hysterical (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by ap in avl on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 08:22:33 AM EST
    Obviously (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:51:24 PM EST

    What's that mean? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:58:20 PM EST
    yerf'difyerdem (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:59:27 PM EST
    Ah (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:00:16 PM EST
    I'm sorry to report that Kagro is right (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:51:31 PM EST
    He points out the difference between budgeting, authorization and appropriations. Reconciliation only applies to the first. So if you want to raise taxes, you can do it with 50 votes (plus the Vice President), but if you want to actually spend (appropriate) then you need 60 votes.  

    And actually, I think taxes may be subject (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:52:33 PM EST
    to a different point of order.

    So (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:59:24 PM EST
    won't be easier later. Krugman and Digby's (and my) point stand.

    here's how I would do it (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:00:56 PM EST
    tack the rest of what you want onto the next emergency war supplemental. (Yes, Obama will have one of those).

    Except in Kagro's source: (none / 0) (#9)
    by steviez314 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:04:03 PM EST
    (4) EXCLUSION- For purposes of this subsection, the terms `direct spending legislation' and `revenue legislation' do not include--

                     (A) any concurrent resolution on the budget;

    So I'm wondering if any "extra" stimulus package does require 3/5ths, but the regular yearly budget bill would not.


    Much easier to spend (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:05:38 PM EST
    with an "emergency" supplemental.

    So (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:07:20 PM EST
    how is this bill not a "budget" bill?

    Came from the proper committees?

    Either the 60 vote requirement applies now and LATER, or it does not apply at all.

    which is it?


    It is not "THE" Budget Bill-- (none / 0) (#12)
    by steviez314 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:14:59 PM EST
    the yearly budget resolution.  The PAYGO rule of order seems to imply that you can have a spending increasing or revenue decreasing bill (which the stimulus bill is) that is distinct from the continuing resolution on the budget, which is treated differently.

    Kagro's article only discusses the stimulus bill and its conference report, while the other article refers to the 2009 budget original appropriations and 2010 budget process.

    SO, I don't yet see the contradiction in what both are saying.


    What other article? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:23:41 PM EST
    And I must add, that the idea that a point of order intended to enforce PAYGO does not apply to the ACTUAL budget bill seems incredible to me.

    Could you link to the article you think supports what you are saying?

    And I might also add that if a budget process bill not susceptible to the 60 vote requirement was available to be the stimulus vehicle and it was not used, then this is just plain political malpractice.


    Try this one for a head spinner (none / 0) (#68)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:26:53 PM EST
    The budget reconciliation process is done as a "concurrent resolution" which has no force in law because it does not go to the President's desk for a signature (or veto).

    All this stuff is just parliamentary rules set up between the two houses, only the rules are defined by law in the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (which also created the Congressional Budget Office).


    It's an emergency appropriations bill (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:19:18 PM EST
    The budget bill is toothless, and it doesn't even got to the president. (Now, a special omnibus reconciliation bill is different, and nobody really understands those).

    I do not understand your comment (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:24:31 PM EST
    Stevie is arguing that PAYGO ONLY applies to non-budget bills.

    Which seems utterly incredible to me.


    I believe the budget sets tax rates (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:33:04 PM EST
    and sets spending level targets. I think the difference is between the concurrent resolution on the budget and actually appropriating the money.

    So when was the budget level set? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:37:38 PM EST
    And is it really just against the current resolution?

    I think not. I think it goes back for 5 years.


    The budget is effectively meaningless (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:40:43 PM EST
    with respect to spending. The only thing it's really good at is setting tax rates: the two areas where Clinton and Bush had their biggest successes.

    I'm speaking of the single budget resolution that (none / 0) (#23)
    by steviez314 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:40:58 PM EST
    is done every year.  Clearly, that bill cannot be under PAYGO, since we always spend more than we have.

    Once the budget is voted on and approved (the Budget Act of 1974 specifically states that the Federal Budget Resolution cannot be filibustered), then any future bills introduced during the year , such as this Stimulus Bill or last years rebate checks, are subject to PAYGO and 60 votes.

    I think there is a clear distinction here between THE Budget, which must be prepared by June 15 and starts FY Oct 1, and any other budget-affecting bills.

    There is no reason I see that Obama and the Dems cannot propose any kind of FY 2010 budget they like, as long as they get 50%+1 votes in both houses for it.

    I am just an amateur trying to read this stuff, but it all seems logical and does not contradict either Kagro or Stan.


    The reason to use emergency supplementals (none / 0) (#25)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:44:41 PM EST
    is so that you can pretend you're balancing the budget under the normal order. It confuses everything.

    Doesn't make sense (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:48:37 PM EST
    ADDING to the existing deficit size (not DEBT) is what PAYGO means.

    It also refers to a period going back 5 years.

    As I understand it, you are stating that this rule DOES NOT apply to the actual document that will determine whether there actually will be a deficit increase or not - the actual budget.

    It should be repaled on that ground alone.

    I admit I never heard of this before this kerfuffle.

    Did the Iraq supplemental all require 60 under this provision? If not, WHY NOT?

    I always assumed they were subject to filibuster - was it this point of order issue instead?

    And let me add that YOUR explanation means we get no additional stimulus until next October.


    The Iraq war supplementals (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:52:49 PM EST
    could have been filibustered.

    The baseline for PAYGO is : (none / 0) (#32)
    by steviez314 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:02:07 PM EST
    (A) use the baseline surplus or deficit used for the most recently adopted concurrent resolution on the budget;

    so PAYGO applies to any direct spending or revenue bills introduced during the year after the budget bill is done, or to amendments to the concurent resolution.

    Iraq Supplemental needed 60, since it was...supplemental.

    And money budgeted in October won't arrive that much later than by the time the Stimulus Bill is completed.


    future stimulus (none / 0) (#18)
    by wickedlittledoll on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:33:57 PM EST
    So does that mean whatever appropriations are added to the bill aren't subject to GOP approval? Guess our democratic process has some good aspects to it after all.

    The GOP (none / 0) (#60)
    by cal1942 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:00:23 PM EST
    shouldn't be allowed to approve or disapprove anything.

    They are a very minority party.

    A determined, competent President and Congressional leadership should be able to bulldoze any Republican efforts to dictate terms and derail Democratic initiatives.

    There is no excuse for what's happened over the past week. The reason appears to be a President with a set of priorities not related to the nation's needs. It's no surprise and it's our worst nightmare.

    To stay on subject the budget resolution sets spending and revenue guidelines and cannot be filibustered.


    Curious.... (none / 0) (#67)
    by NYShooter on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:21:37 PM EST
    We have had "The War on Drugs, The War on Poverty," etc. why not "The War on Economic Devastation?"

    Take a note from Bush's AUMF, take it to The People, and ask Congress for "Authorization to do All that is necessary to fend off the looming Depression, yada, yada"

    Lincoln and Roosevelt did it for good; Reagan and Bush did it for evil; certainly Obama could pretend it's the campaign all over again and sell it to the public.

    Where am I wrong?

    FDR already wrote that one (none / 0) (#79)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 12:17:31 AM EST
    with his inaugural address, known as "The War on the Great Depression."  

    In addition to his famous statement "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," he also said "I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis -- broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe."

    Obama can just read this -- and send speechwriter Jon Favreau for sadly, badly needed gender sensitivity training. :-)


    O.K. (none / 0) (#81)
    by NYShooter on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 12:44:00 AM EST
    So it's been done before.

    Lemme try it another way.

    We just went through eight years, with a President dumber'n a doorknob, who went about destroying almost everything that defined America, everything we held near and dear in our hearts about our country. And the democrats, even after they were the majority, sat in their seats, incontinent, and said nary a peep.

    Sure, 9-11 happened in his first year, so how does that explain years 5, 6, 7, and 8?

    Does any rational person doubt what we are facing today? And we have a pilot who got as far as learning where to hang his jacket in flight school. So we made a terrible mistake.

    It's as if a beekeeper sprayed his sleep-inducing powder over every person in a leadership position in the country. Where are the voices (other than Krugman, and a very small handful of others) running around the country screaming FIRE!?


    Hey, I'm with you (none / 0) (#83)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 02:49:40 AM EST
    all the way and don't misunderstand me -- what you call for, a rally to go to war against the economic evildoers, is exactly what we need.  I hope to see FDR-style fire in the belly from Obama this week.

    I don't think I'll get it . . . but I can hope for that change in him.  Heck, yes, if millions of idjits can get fired up by the previous prez who couldn't put together two sentences, this Greatest Speechmaker Evuh, Obama, can get the country moving again with a few golden phrases.

    Well, a few golden phrases and a rough awakening to the reality that he does NOT need to kowtow to Republicans.


    I'm awful sorry (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by NYShooter on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 05:45:39 AM EST
    I know you're aboard. I was just yelling into the nether.

    You really wanna get depressed? Wait, I'll preface that. Just caught the cognitively inert cast of Morning Joe. Is there a single, fully formed, cranial DNA molecule anywhere on that cast? This is where the public gets its information?

    Thank goodness I have a funeral to go this afternoon; anything to make me feel better.


    Sorry, the bee money was cut out of the bill. (none / 0) (#88)
    by DFLer on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 09:49:11 AM EST