Barney Frank recanted his momentary lucidity last night and now displays the equal parts of ignorance and arrogance that go with being a Dem politician. Here's some Barney prattle, with the Elmer Fudd w's not inserted:
You have to pass the Senate bill as is and the President signs it. Then people have to be assured that you can get the amendments through the House and the Senate," Frank said. "Because then the argument would be, 'Look, the bills already passed so now the question is whether you're willing to amend it or not.'"
One way to do that would be through the filibuster proof budget reconciliation process. "The alternative would be, people are talking about using reconciliation: 51 votes to get the agreed on amendments in the Senate."
The problem, Frank noted, is that reconciliation can only be used for some measures--revenue and spending measures, with implications for the federal budget--and not others. Some elements of the fix, then, could be passed through reconciliation, requiring only a simple majority in the Senate. The trick would be to get the other contentious measures--abortion, immigration--fixed through the regular order.
Being a denizen of the House, Barney may be more than a bit fuzzy about reconciliation, which is to be used only on tax and budget laws [The Byrd Rule]. In reconciliation, every SENTENCE in the 1000-plus pages of the Senate bill would have to be examined for tax and budgetary versus policy implications. If one Senator says the sentence must be voted on because it is a policy rather than fiscal or tax issue, the rule is that 60 [sixty] votes have to affirm the sentence as subject to reconciliation, which can be passed with 51 votes. Sen. Gregg explained this to Greta van S.
Frank went on to try to buffalo Olympia Snowe as the 60th vote, which shows us how silly and really shallow this mile-a-minute madman can be when he finds himself being torqued leftward!