Tuesday, July 25, 2017

“Let's Play The GOP Blame Game Shall We” – If Healthcare Fails Whose Fault Is It

Loyalty #1 for Trump: Always on Top, Always Center, Never Wrong

Simple Question and Simple Answer  

Legislative Roadblock Troika
(From Russian = тройка means: “A Set of Three”)

From MSN via The AP report good read – a keeper. The key parts below are my focus during this healthcare effort. These are two key elements to keep abreast of:

#1:  PARLIAMENTARY PUZZLE: The special fast-track process, called reconciliation in Washington-speak, comes with tricky rules. 

Amendments that are carefully crafted and fit within the rules can pass on a simple majority vote. 

But many amendments run afoul of the Senate's byzantine rules, which mean they can require 60 votes and effectively be blocked by Democrats.

Among them is the so-called Byrd rule, named after former Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV).

That rule is complicated, and it disqualifies some of the GOP's ideas, such as a provision in the pending bill aimed at lowering premiums paid by younger, healthier consumers by allowing insurance companies to increase premiums paid by seniors.

The Byrd rule generally blocks provisions that don't affect the federal budget — and blocks provisions whose changes to spending or taxes are "merely incidental" to a larger policy purpose. 

If such provisions are inserted despite the Byrd rule, any individual senators can knock them out with a point of order.

#2:  MCCONNELL'S LAST OPTION – HIS ALAMO AS IT WERE: At the very end of the debate, after dozens of votes on amendments and parliamentary challenges, majority Republicans can offer one, final substitute amendment. 

McConnell would probably be the author and it could represent one final grasp at consensus among fractured Republicans.

McConnell's last gambit could offer Republican senators a difficult choice since rejecting it would probably doom the whole effort. 

But consensus among Republicans has eluded McConnell for weeks, so there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical he can succeed now.

The whole AP report contains the nuts and bolts and I emphasize the “nuts” part.

Stay tuned … as Yogi Berra said:It ain’t over till it’s over.”

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