The Cock Eating Shit Weasel has spoken…
Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) informed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in a face-to-face meeting on Sunday that he will vote against a health care bill that includes a public option or a provision that would expand Medicare, a Democratic Senate aide tells the Huffington Post.
The two senators had a discussion in Reid’s office shortly after Lieberman appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday morning. The Connecticut independent discussed with Reid some of his concerns about the legislation, elaborating on issues he had raised during the show. According to the source, who was briefed on the exchange, Lieberman punctuated the discussion by telling the majority leader directly that he will vote against the bill if the Medicare buy-in and public option provisions remain in it. Roll Call reports that Lieberman said he would also support a Republican filibuster of legislation that included these provisions.
So, basically, Lieberman is saying that he’ll vote for the Health Care Reform Bill, provided they take out the reform.
As of right now, this leaves Harry Reid with three options.
1) Gut the Senate Bill further and then watch as the progressives pull their support, killing the Senate Bill altogether.
2) Go to Reconciliation or…
3) Use the Nuclear Option!
The nuclear option is used in response to a filibuster or other dilatory tactic. A senator makes a point of order calling for an immediate vote on the measure before the body, outlining what circumstances allow for this. The presiding officer of the Senate, usually the vice president of the United States or the president pro tempore, makes a parliamentary ruling upholding the senator’s point of order. The Constitution is cited at this point, since otherwise the presiding officer is bound by precedent. A supporter of the filibuster may challenge the ruling by asking, “Is the decision of the Chair to stand as the judgment of the Senate?” This is referred to as “appealing from the Chair.” An opponent of the filibuster will then move to table the appeal. As tabling is non-debatable, a vote is held immediately. A simple majority decides the issue. If the appeal is successfully tabled, then the presiding officer’s ruling that the filibuster is unconstitutional is thereby upheld. Thus a simple majority is able to cut off debate, and the Senate moves to a vote on the substantive issue under consideration. The effect of the nuclear option is not limited to the single question under consideration, as it would be in a cloture vote. Rather, the nuclear option effects a change in the operational rules of the Senate, so that the filibuster or dilatory tactic would thereafter be barred by the new precedent.
The benefits of this is that we could go back to a simple majority rule and we could start pumping out legislation. The down side is that if the Republicans ever regain the majority, nothing could stop them from churning out bad legislation.
Gee, Richard. You mean like the time the Dems were able to stop the Bush Tax cuts and the Iraq invasion?
Yeah, point taken.
Look, if you asked me three months ago, I would have said no. But now, with our backs against the wall. With not just Health Care but Climate Change and Financial Regulation in the balance, we may have no other choice.
It’s time to lock ourselves in the freezer and Nuke the filibuster!