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Ok, so the democrats garnered 53 votes in the senate to extend only middle class tax cuts.

If that is truly the level of support for the plan in the senate, can they not go the budget reconciliation route, which would only require 50 votes? That would not make the extensions permanent, but it would allow them to continue as is temporarily while the tax cuts above the threshold expire, right?

Surely, there must be something here that I am missing, but for the life of me I can't see it. I'm not calling the senators dumb, I'm just wondering what it is that I don't get. If there are 50 votes for preserving just the middle class cuts, them move ahead with budget reconciliation!

Originally posted to The Youthful Bede on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 06:03 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phastphil40, output, Lucy2009

    The 60s weren't that fricking great. Get over yourselves already, Boomers.

    by The Youthful Bede on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 06:03:16 PM PST

  •  Congress has not passed a FY11 (7+ / 0-)

    budget yet. Reconciliation can only used once each fiscal year. Once congress passes a FY11, the reconciliation will be available.

    •  Exactly. With respect to the diarist, I'm so... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalSal, CalliopeIrjaPearl

      ...sick of seeing that comment on Kos.

      People need to educate themselves on the rules of the Senate before lobbing criticisms.

      May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

      by dasheight on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 06:28:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Again, no offense to the diarist, as the... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, skohayes

        ...diary was more a question than a criticism - but looking this stuff up - just educating yourself on how all of this works can prevent overreactions with certain things that happen in Congress. For example, the whole "Dems had 60 votes for six months!" line - it's nonsense. Lieberman and Nelson alone made 58, and that's not even counting a couple of other hard conservative Democrats that made purely Democratic passage impossible for certain bills. But yeah, the reconciliation route can be used once each fiscal year - it was used for health care reform.

        May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

        by dasheight on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 06:33:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, but where (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW

        does one go to learn the rules?

      •  I'm sick of seeing it too. (0+ / 0-)

        Since it isn't actually true that there needs to be a new budget passed for the previous budget's reconciliation instructions to remain valid.

    •  No. (0+ / 0-)

      Reconciliation instructions expire only upon the earlier of either: 1) the adoption of a new budget resolution, or; 2) the expiration of the Congress that passed them. Neither one has happened yet.

      You're correct, though, in saying that reconciliation instructions can be used once per budget cycle, not once per year. That's a commonly made mistake.

      Even so, reconciliation doesn't depend on the passage of a budget for FY11.

  •  They don't want to get this pushed through. (0+ / 0-)

    That's the reason it can't get through. Various rules of the Senate are just the mechanics. Truth be told, if Dems/Obama really wanted to get this through, they would have campaigned on it b4 the election. The public overwhelmingly doesn't want tax cuts for the rich. It would have been a perfect thing to NAIL the GOP on, but, no..... better to waffle, fuck around, pretend like you want it, then pretend like you can't get it, then pretend like it's all the GOP's fault, etc, etc, etc......

    But the bottom line is if they wanted it...it wold be done. It's not being done, and it's not what they want.

    As Alan Grayson pointed out. All these folks are millionaires, they want the tax cut.

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

    by Lucy2009 on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 06:51:24 PM PST

    •  so is he, therefore, he's in on it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lucy2009

      and he's just pretending to be against it because it keeps the left believing that the democratic party still has people who share their ideals in it

      isn't that how the logic works?  or is Alan an exception somehow?  he's the millionaire who really cares.  and we know this because he vote for or against what?

      A man abstemious, rigidly upright, inflexibly honest, ferociously chaste. A man with every virtue, except humility and human kindness. - Ellis Peters

      by bluefaction on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 07:23:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not unless he voted against this bill. (0+ / 0-)

        The folks that voted against it, clearly don't want it. The leadership knew they would do this, because that's what the Dems in Congress always do. Leadership should have prepared for this, they should have had better timing, they should have had better messaging, and they should have sent out Guido to make it happen if needed.  lol

        Seriously, this shit is no accident. I do not believe it for one second.

        I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

        by Lucy2009 on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 08:39:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  but seriously (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lucy2009

      i don't think the tax cuts for the rich were that much of a concern.  and let's be honest.  for all our newly found zeal for deficits, we don't care either.  we would have just as quickly borrowed this much from china to get twice as big of a stimulus bill through.  tax cuts for the rich are more about politics than policy for democrats.

      A man abstemious, rigidly upright, inflexibly honest, ferociously chaste. A man with every virtue, except humility and human kindness. - Ellis Peters

      by bluefaction on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 07:26:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not for me. I see absolutely no reason in hell (0+ / 0-)

        why we should increase the deficit 700 billion dollars, which will disproportionately (is that right spelling!!) be a hardship for the middle class, so that the richest two percent in this country can have a tax cut. A tax cut that does absolutely nothing for anyone. The rich don't need it; it doesn't stimulate job growth; it doens't immediately go back into our long term slumped economy...it really serves no purpose than to take from the poor and give to the rich.

        Sure it's political, but it's really going to come back and bite us in the ass down the road. Or our children, or g-children, or gg-children. It's going to bite us in the ass just as we've already seen. Part of the reason we have to cut back on the social safety net is because the deficit is too big, because of the Bush tax cuts. They add to the deficit, and take money away from the Treasury. The politicians on both sides of the aisle are now gunning to bludgeon the poor/infirm/young/old with the deficit excuse.

        Now, re your point on not having the deficit be a priority. I'm right there with you. If they want to borrown money for the unemployed, or to provide HC for all Americans, or to educate our children, or something that is actually beneficial to our country, and has some sort of return value.....then I'm willing to talk.

        I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

        by Lucy2009 on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 08:37:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But you're not concerned about the deficit (0+ / 0-)

          created by the middle class tax cuts?

          How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

          by skohayes on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:33:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not a deficit girl if that's what you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes

            are getting at. But sure, in a literal sense, anything that adds to it is going to be a problem down the line. However, the difference with the middle class cuts is that (from numerous things I've read) it seems letting the higher tax rate return for the beleagured middle class will actually be quite a hardship for them, AND as such could actually impact and cut-off our itty bitty recovery! We def don't want to rock that boat right now.

            The other thing is that the middle class are the ones that are taking it in the rear right now with this crappy economy, losing houses, jobs, shitty public education, etc. There is real, tangible, and immediate as well as long term benefit to having those cuts stay in place for them.

            That's the difference as I see it.

            I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

            by Lucy2009 on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 10:49:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  The President DID want a vote before the election (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leema, skohayes, Lucy2009

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

      by zenbassoon on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 07:35:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's good to hear! (0+ / 0-)

        Then it's the Congress that are being utter weenies.

        I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

        by Lucy2009 on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 08:26:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was Hoyer and the Blue dogs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lucy2009

          that begged the President and Pelosi to not hold a vote.

          "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

          by zenbassoon on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 08:44:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can't stand him. He and his gang of (0+ / 0-)

            GOP-lite pals can't leave the Congress soon enough for me!  

            Do you know why they begged?  Is it what I believe which is that they are sniveling, useless political whores?

            I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

            by Lucy2009 on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 09:59:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I've heard two explanations (0+ / 0-)

    The first is that budget reconciliation is only used once every fiscal year, and the second is that budget reconciliation cannot add to the deficit. I've confirmed the first, but not the second.

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2008/09/time-not-for-a.html

    by bhagamu on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 09:13:19 PM PST

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