5
   

60 senators is magic number?

 
 
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 04:10 am
NYTimes just posted the title below. Should "is" be "are"?

Context:
For Democrats, 60 Senators Is Magic Number for Health Bill
By CARL HULSE
The health care proposal has Senate Democrats pondering how to keep all 59 Democrats united and attract at least one Republican to pass an overhaul measure.
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 04:33 am
Senate rules require 60% of a quorum to close debate and go to a vote. If all the Republicans are united, they can prevent a vote on a health care bill by showing up at the Senate and conducting a "filibuster." That would mean they would just endlessly talk to prevent a vote on the bill. To end debate, the Democrats would need 60 votes.

EDIT: You've changed the question while i was typing.

No, it should be "is." Magic number is 60 senators.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 05:41 am
@Setanta,
The Magic number is 60 senators is grammatically correct.

But, the magic number for health care is in fact 51 senators. The Democrats have a process called budget reconciliation open to them which will allow them to pass important parts of the bill with a simple majority.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 05:50 am
Jesus Christ, Brown, leave the fanaticism at home for once, will ya. Leaving aside the grammatical issue (Oristar had not asked that question when i originally responded), the enabling legislation could be filibustered, whether or not your enthusiasm suggests otherwise to you. It is bad enough to confuse Oristar about English, as some members do--it's inexcusable to confuse him about politics at the same time. The article he quotes is correct, to achieve cloture on the enabling legislation, the Democrats need 60 votes, if the entire Senate is sitting.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 05:54 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
If all the Republicans are united, they can prevent a vote on a health care bill by showing up at the Senate and conducting a "filibuster."


This statement is factually incorrect.

The Republicans would need 51 votes (which they don't have) to prevent a vote under budget reconciliation.

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 06:06 am
What a jackass. You don't even understand how your own government works. For a bill, any bill, to pass the Senate it first goes to the floor, where it is debated. To end debate, and force a vote, you need 60 votes by Senate rules. It would only take 51 votes to pass the enabling legislation for a Health Care plan, but if the Republicans filibuster such a bill, it would require 60 votes to force cloture and go to a vote. Budget details won't change the basic fact that the enabling legislation can be filibustered.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 06:11 am
@Setanta,
Your ignorance doesn't make me a jackass.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconciliation_(U.S._Congress)

The Republicans have used the same process to break Democratic filibusters when they had the majority. The Republicans even discussed using reconciliation in 2005 to open up ANWAR.

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 06:19 am
You're making a jackass of yourself because you don't understand the meaning of budget reconciliation. Reconciliation only applies to existing law and programs, it does not refer to new legislation, to enabling legislation. This is an example of the hare-brained enthusiasm which motivates the partisans of any particular program when they dream of forcing their agenda on a Congress which in fact operates by rules they don't understand. You can't use reconciliation to pass enabling legislation--it only applies to budget bills, and it only applies to existing law and/or programs.

Clown.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 06:23 am
Here, Bubba, read your own article, and try to understand:

"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." (emphasis added)

If no enabling legislation has been passed, there is no existing law to be changed, and there are no budget resolutions passed in either house to fund programs which don't exist.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 07:41 am
@Setanta,
Setanta, you have a surprising lack of understanding of politics or of recent history.

First... your use of the word "partisan" in a discussion of politics shows real ignorance-- as if there is anything in politics that isn't partisan.

Second, the rules about what is "existing" law, etc. or what it means to bring spending, revenues etc into conformity is open to interpretation. The interpretation used to determine which parts of the healthcare reform bill fall under this category is (ironically) determined by a simple majority meaning that 51 votes in the senate prevail (yes there are complexities under Byrd et. al.)

Third, reconciliation has been used before, by the Republicans, for example to try to get drilling in ANWR.

There is no question that the Democrats are able to do this. In fact, a member of the Gang of Six (the Senators trying to bang out a bipartison deal) has already said this is an option, and Republican Senators are already whining about it. There is a question about whether this is politically foolish.

If it comes to this, the battle will be over public opinion.

You will remember a similar debate over the "nuclear option". Even if it comes down to some compromise, the ability of the Democrats to use Budget Reconciliation will doubtless play into any negotiation.

But the fact remains. If there are 51 Senators willing to vote through health care reform through Budget Reconciliation, then 51 Senators is all it will take.
parados
 
  4  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 07:52 am
@oristarA,
2 Jackasses IS the magic number for this thread.

While both of those that replied previously ARE being jackasses, Set is correct in that "number" is the singular noun.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 07:58 am
@parados,
Quote:
2 Jackasses IS the magic number for this thread.
Laughing

poor ori
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 08:09 am
The pedant in me feels compelled to point out that "60 senators" isn't a number; "60" is a number and "60 senators" is a quantity.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 08:12 am
@parados,
Then I am sure glad you came along, Parados.
Wink
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 08:14 am
@DrewDad,
Drew,

The phrase "magic number" is an idiom (i.e. a sports metaphor). Ori is using it correctly.
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 08:41 am
@Setanta,
Thanks.
Also thank Brown for paying attention.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 08:43 am
@ebrown p,
I spoke of the partisans of any particular program, so your assessment of what politics means is irrelevant to my use of the term partisan.

There is no doubt that using budget reconciliation would be politically foolish. It would require something "brilliant" such as extending medicaid coverage to all Americans. Not only would it create just the sort of mutated bureaucratic monstrosity which conservatives have been predicting, it would expose a program which has been providing a genuinely useful health care service to millions of Americans to being gutted by the Republicans then next time they have a simple majority in both houses of the Congress.

The only way to get a "stand-alone" health care reform system in place will be with enabling legislation. That will protect all existing programs, and create a program which the Republicans will attack at their peril. It will also allow the construction of a new bureaucracy with a chance of being efficient and effective, and immune to Republican destruction because Americans will judge it on its own merits, and the Republicans will destroy it only at their own political peril.

Not that i would expect you to understand something such as that, because you are to eaten up with your own partisan prejudices. By the way, the ANWAR plan to use budget reconciliation failed because the House (where all money bills must originate), controlled at that time by Republicans, was unwilling to saddle the existing Federal public lands administration with the costs of administering a program of a type they were not intended to oversee, and was unwilling to create the sort of bloated bureaucracy which would have been required. I suspect that you are the one with no understanding of politics or of recent history.
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 08:47 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
The phrase "magic number" is an idiom (i.e. a sports metaphor). Ori is using it correctly.

You may be the next-most-humorless person on this board, second only to Brandon.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 08:49 am
I was interested to learn that an idiom is defined as a sports metaphor.
0 Replies
 
oristarA
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 08:54 am
I browsed the thread again, and found the rest of the answers. Smile

Cheers.
0 Replies
 
 

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