PEEK

Reconciliation: An Easier Sell Than It's Made Out to Be?

Senate poohbahs are simply protecting their political fiefdoms. Where's the fury?

Here's a rather sobering article on the perils of using the reconciliation process by Brian Beutler. It's a complicated undertaking that has some institutional road blocks which make it a difficult undertaking. Aside from the technical difficulties we've all discussed, he also reports that the Senate poohbahs are resistant because they will see their fiefdoms threatened. He writes:

Why is there such hesitancy in the Senate to go all the way in reconciliation? Because if the majority party begins passing whatever it wants in reconciliation bills, it would significantly undermine the power of Senate elders.

Schmitt says, "If reconciliation became a free-for-all, it's not just the minority party that would be cut out, the institutional prerogatives of most of the committees other than Budget and Finance would be drastically reduced, especially Appropriations. That's why, political will or not, there are more than enough Dems who aren't willing to blow open the process, for institutional reasons."

What if the Democrats tried anyhow? Well Republicans could become even more obstructive than they already are. With appropriations bills coming up, Republican delays could all but shut down the government. And though the GOP would be taking a huge political risk by going that route, some Democrats aren't willing to put the country through something that traumatic.

So, they don't want to endanger their prerogatives and are afraid that it will be too traumatic for the country if the Republicans hold their breath and turn blue on the Senate floor. That's some inspiring leadership there.

Digby is the proprietor of Hullabaloo.