The Senate Parliamentarian’s Advice is Non-Binding

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Issues, Obamacare

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There’s a lot of noise from various GOP Senators regarding the power of the Senate Parliamentarian. Our friend and former co-worker, Daniel Horowitz, addressed that this morning. The Senate Parliamentarian is a staffer who advises Senators as best she can. Her advice is non-binding. So the next time a GOP Senator says, “We’re doing our best to see what we can get past the Senate Parliamentarian,” know that this is an excuse to do nothing.

To “get past” the Senate Parliamentarian, all that has to happen is the Majority Leader (McConnell) or Vice-President Mike Pence (the President of the Senate). As Senator Ted Cruz noted recently:

Cruz argues that Pence, as the person likely to preside over the chamber at the most important moments of the healthcare debate, can decide what is and what isn’t eligible for the so-called reconciliation process. He says the Senate parliamentarian’s role is to advise, not to rule.

“Under the Budget Act of 1974, which is what governs reconciliation, it is the presiding officer, the vice president of the United States, who rules on what’s permissible on reconciliation and what is not,” Cruz told reporters Thursday. “That’s a conversation I’ve been having with a number of my colleagues.”

Let’s check this off the list of excuses the GOP has used to not repeal Obamacare.

The first was, “We only hold the House!” That’s gone. Check.

The second was, “We only hold the House and the Senate!” That too is gone. Check.

The third was, “We really need the White House to get this done!” Gone. Check.

The fourth was, “The Senate Parliamentarian will decided what we can do!” That, as we now know, is gone as well. Check.

If the GOP, after three successive election cycles run on the promise to repeal Obamacare, does not take action, we can only draw one conclusion.

They were lying to their voters the entire time.