There are always, when some of us on the right blow up an issue like Harry Reid’s rules changes, some people who say we’re overreacting.
I have to say I think they miss the point.
First, I do agree with Gabriel Malor that “a quick glance at the Library of Congress website and Google shows that language similar to that used here to except these provisions from the Standing Rules has been used dozens of times in the past thirty years in both the Senate and the House, including in the 109th Congress when Republicans controlled both chambers.”
Second, I do agree the GOP has done thing, including with Medicare Part D.
But, in most all of the cases, though not all including Medicare Part D, the Senate first went through a procedural vote requiring a two-thirds vote in recognition that there would be a change of Senate Rules.
In several of the cases, including Medicare Part D, when that two-thirds vote did not first happen, the 51 person vote went forward without an objection being raised by the Democrats on that point.
Here is where I think the people saying we’re overreacting are totally missing the point.
In the case at hand, an objection was raised and very clearly the rules were being changed. The Senate President, however, ruled that the rules were not being changed, just procedure, despite the clear wording of the change being a rules change.
This is, in fact, done in contravention to Senate procedure.
But here is what everyone saying this is no big deal is missing: to my knowledge and the knowledge of those who I have consulted with on this issue, there has never been any legislation passed by the Congress with a prohibition on future Senates considering changes to previously enacted laws or regulations.
We can argue over whether or not this would be upheld, but given the refusal of the Senate GOP Leadership to fight now, we can wonder if they would fight on this in the future.
Likewise, what exactly is Harry Reid trying to prevent future Senates from repealing? Bureaucratic regulations enacted by the Death Panels. So, for example, though the Death Panels are prohibited by statute from passing “rationing” regulations, under the definitions, the panels can pass regulations setting priorities for treatment. So, they can say a 40 year old must get treatment for the same condition suffered by a 70 year old before the 70 year old can get treatment, thereby letting the 70 year old whither and die waiting for their turn.
And Harry Reid intends for the Senate, in perpetuity, to be prohibited from every changing that regulation without a super-majority of the Senate agreeing to ignore that prohibition.
Lastly, why in God’s name would the Senate Majority Leader want to make the Death Panel regulations the only thing in the Obamacare legislation that is not subject to amendment, repeal, or change by the United States Senate?!