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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 08:52 AM
Original message
What Obama Did Politically with the SOTU
Edited on Thu Jan-28-10 08:56 AM by berni_mccoy
Obama gave the Democrats in the Senate the green light to use Reconciliation, not just for HCR, but for *everything*. When he called out that the House has done it's job last year, but the Senate failed, he clearly laid blame on the Senate. Furthermore, he called out that everything that goes through the gov't should not need a Super Majority. Which puts the blame on the current Senate rules. He couldn't be any more clear when he said: "We have a big majority, don't run for the hills". And now that the Repubs have 41 seats in the Senate, he gave them a huge warning. Either cross the line or lose your ability to have a say. Obama is indeed about to play hardball. I suspect that if the Senate cannot get the changes the House requires to pass the HCR Bill, that Obama will request that the Senate use Reconciliation. And it won't end with HCR. He basically has given the Repubs one last chance for bipartisanship. And he's turned the HCR issue into *their* Waterloo.

Repubs are actually in a worse spot politically with 41 seats. Their base now believes they have the power to stop anything and that they will. But it's clear Obama isn't going to let them. And if they try, Reconciliation will be used for the rest of the year. If they cross the line, their base will flip out. Obama has turned their win on its head.

It's going to be a very interesting over the next 2-3 weeks.
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Champion Jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. I hope you're right
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DrDan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. reconciliation cannot be used for "everything"
let's get real
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Here's a wiki link that explains it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconciliation_%28United_S...

Reconciliation is a legislative process in the United States Senate intended to allow consideration of a contentious budget bill without the threat of filibuster. Introduced in 1974, reconciliation limits debate and amendment, and therefore favors the majority party. Reconciliation also exists in the United States House of Representatives, but because the House regularly passes rules that constrain debate and amendment, the process has had a less significant impact on that body.

A reconciliation instruction (Budget Reconciliation) is a provision in a budget resolution directing one or more committees to submit legislation changing existing law in order to bring spending, revenues, or the debt-limit into conformity with the budget resolution. The instructions specify the committees to which they apply, indicate the appropriate dollar changes to be achieved, and usually provide a deadline by which the legislation is to be reported or submitted.<1>

A reconciliation bill is one containing changes in law recommended pursuant to reconciliation instructions in a budget resolution. If the instructions pertain to only one committee in a chamber, that committee reports the reconciliation bill. If the instructions pertain to more than one committee, the House Budget Committee reports an omnibus reconciliation bill, but it may not make substantive changes in the recommendations of the other committees.<[br />
More:
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DrDan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. budget resolution
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. A "Budget Item" under Reconciliation is basically what the Pres. of the Senate (Biden) says it is.
The role of the Senate Parliamentarian is advisory. It takes 60 Senators to support an objection raised by the Parliamentarian to overrule the VP. Biden can basically craft the Bills he wants - including the budget lines that need to be reconciled with the House version of a Bill, the Committee that returns a reconciled Bill, and the time frame for reporting back the amended Senate Bill.

It's up to the White House on this.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. I'm not questioning this White House
After reading the list of things, compiled by Professor Robert P Watson, of what this president has done his first year I'm impressed.

It was posted here a couple days ago, sorry don't remember who posted it and not real sure how to make a search so I'll paste it here as I had saved it and have it handy.
Enjoy

Prof Robert P Watson's list of President Obama's accomplishments so far..

Nov 19, 2009

Professor Watson writes

Hi friends,

I am always being asked to grade Obama's presidency. In place of offering him a grade, I put together a list of his accomplishments thus far. I think you would agree that it is very impressive. His first six months have been even more active than FDRs or LBJs the two standards for such assessments. Yet, there is little media attention given to much of what he has done. Of late, the media is focusing almost exclusively on Obama's critics, without holding them responsible for the uncivil, unconstructive tone of their disagreements or without holding the previous administration responsible for getting us in such a deep hole. The misinformation and venom that now passes for political reporting and civic debate is beyond description.

As such, there is a need to set the record straight. What most impresses me is the fact that Obama has accomplished so much not from a heavy-handed or top-down approach but from a style that has institutionalized efforts to reach across the aisle, encourage vigorous debate, and utilize town halls and panels of experts in the policy-making process. Beyond the accomplishments, the process is good for democracy and our democratic processes have been battered and bruised in recent years.
Let me know if I missed anything in the list (surely I did).
Robert

Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending
Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices
Instituted enforcement for equal pay for women
Beginning the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq
Families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB
Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information
Ended media blackout on covering the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB; the media is now permitted to do so pending adherence to respectful rules and approval of fallen soldier's family
The White House and federal government are respecting the Freedom of Information Act
Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible
Limits on lobbyist's access to the White House
Limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration
Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date
Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren't even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan
Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research
Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research
New federal funding for science and research labs
States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards
Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect
Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools
New funds for school construction
The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased out
US Auto industry rescue plan
Housing rescue plan
$789 billion economic stimulus plan
The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying
US financial and banking rescue plan
The secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are being closed
Ended the previous policy; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with the Geneva Convention standards
Better body armor is now being provided to our troops
The missile defense program is being cut by $1.4 billion in 2010
Restarted the nuclear nonproliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols
Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic
Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions
Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office
Successful release of US captain held by Somali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job
US Navy increasing patrols off Somali coast
Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles
Cash for clunkers program offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars; stimulated auto sales
Announced plans to purchase fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal government
Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children
Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program
Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return home to visit loved ones
Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions
Expanding vaccination programs
Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters
Closed offshore tax safe havens
Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals
Ended the previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back
Ended the previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry's predatory practices
Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources
Lower drug costs for seniors
Ended the previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing hundreds of millions in savings
Increasing pay and benefits for military personnel
Improved housing for military personnel
Initiating a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses
Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military hospitals
Increasing student loans
Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program
Sent envoys to Middle East and other parts of the world that had been neglected for years; reengaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy
Established a new cyber security office
Beginning the process of reforming and restructuring the military 20 years after the Cold War to a more modern fighting force; this includes new procurement policies, increasing size of military, new technology and cyber units and operations, etc.
Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts
Ordered a review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness
Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient
Students struggling to make college loan payments can have their loans refinanced
Improving benefits for veterans
Many more press conferences and town halls and much more media access than previous administration
Instituted a new focus on mortgage fraud
The FDA is now regulating tobacco
Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules
Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations, and reports
Authorized discussions with North Korea and private mission by Pres. Bill Clinton to secure the release of two Americans held in prisons
Authorized discussions with Myanmar and mission by Sen. Jim Web to secure the release of an American held captive
Making more loans available to small businesses
Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare
Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court
Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans
Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000
Renewed loan guarantees for Israel
Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan
Deployed additional troops to Afghanistan
New Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans
Announced the long-term development of a national energy grid with renewable sources and cleaner, efficient energy production
Returned money authorized for refurbishment of White House offices and private living quarters
Paid for redecoration of White House living quarters out of his own pocket
Held first Seder in White House
Attempting to reform the nation's healthcare system which is the most expensive in the world yet leaves almost 50 million without health insurance and millions more under insured
Has put the ball in play for comprehensive immigration reform
Has announced his intention to push for energy reform
Has announced his intention to push for education reform
Oh, and he built a swing set for the girls outside the Oval Office!

by
Robert P. Watson, Ph.D.Coordinator of American Studies
Lynn University"

http://theragblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/what-obama-has-d ...
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livetohike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
3. That's what I heard too, and more than once
He gave the Republicans a full year and they showed their pettiness and immaturity and lack of leadership. He called them out on it. Pres. Obama is a patient man, but it appears he is finished with that.

Yes, the next couple of weeks will be interesting.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Let's just hope he's finished with dat!
:applause:
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
4. True but there is a disconnect between what Obama talks about and what the
Democratic leadership in the House and Senate will do. In many ways, the House and Senate Dems are closer to Boehner's smirking and oppose-everything ways.
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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #4
20. He's holding their feet to the fire, too, he said yesterday n/t
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Make it so, Mr. President. n/t
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Ninga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
5. Our President clearly laid down the gauntlet when he noted that there are now
41 GOP Senators, and thus the GOP will now "have to govern."

I heard that as a smack down.

Also I would like to add that if the polls reflect that the masses are behind the President by continuing to give him favorable ratings, then the GOP has bigger problems than they think they have.....
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
6. It Took Pressure Off Democrats...
The 60 vote charade was a curse as it truly wasn't a unified 60. First, you had Liebermann who we know loves being the turd in the punchbowl...and saw how selfish and pompous he became when it was his vote that was needed. The same goes with Nelson and Lincoln. President Obama, being a creature of the legislative and the Senate overestimated that he could reach out to his former "collegues" and failed. Last night he gave the Senate the finger...and it's about time. Now let's see if there's action on his frustration.

Not every bill can go to reconciliation, but I hope that option is used where possible. The ultimate need here is to break the GOOP...force them to fillibuster...make them choke on it. In '95 Clinton forced Gingrich to shut down the House and it backfired on the GOOP and helped Clinton win re-election. This President shouldn't back down from the intimidation or the games...and if Reid can't do this, time to find a new Majority leader who can.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Too bad Obama didn't say 42 votes and then look straight at Lieberman.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #9
18. True dat! nt
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
11. I will believe it when I see it.
remember once upon a time there was also something mentioned about "keeping our powder dry"? It got so dry it blew away.

I will be amused if harsh words give the senate the spine transplant they so desperately need.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Don't hold your breath...
A scolding or finger wagging from Obama is about all anyone can expect, no matter what they do- and by now, everybody knows it.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
12. you're right about repugs being worse off with 41 seats.
now democrats have an easy time not bothering to try for 60 votes.

using reconciliation when you have enough members in your caucus for cloture makes you look incompetent as a party.
using reconciliation when you don't just looks like common sense.
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RoadRage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
14. I've heard that Republicans are ready for Reconcilliation..
That they have thousands of line-by-line amendments that they will go through if Dems use reconcilliaition. To be honest, I don't know exactly how all of this works, but does anyone know if this is true? Can they still stall a bill (ie healthcare) for months if they want?
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. No. It doesn't work that way at all. The VP controls the reconciliation process. See above.
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RoadRage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. Thanks!
Saw it somewhere on the Hannity board when I was trolling the other day (before Brown was elected) and they had a thread going about how the GOP was "Prepared for Reconcilliation" if needed. I didn't pay much attention.. I can't stay over there very long. ;)
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
15. Reconciliation can only be used for purely spending bills.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. Not true. Please see above, "A 'Budget Item' under Reconcilation . . ."
Edited on Thu Jan-28-10 09:53 AM by leveymg
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
23. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
 
swilton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
25. You May Be Right
But I still hope the version of the Senate Health Care Frankenstein of a Bill does not pass in its current form. It does nothing for the uninsured.

Furthermore with this political animal I will do as my mother used to say - don't believe anything you here and only half of what you see.
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