Earlier today, we discussed the news that Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough had delivered a crushing blow to the hopes of Democrats trying to jam amnesty for illegal aliens into the so-called reconciliation bill. That came as bad news for Joe Biden’s agenda and the progressive Democrats who support it. But not everyone was willing to take the bad news with a spoonful of sugar and move on to the next debate. Minnesota Congresswoman Ilan Omar isn’t going to simply take this decision lying down. She immediately began pushing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to simply ignore the ruling, calling it “only a recommendation.”
We can’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to do the right thing. https://t.co/r1T7T7uQIP
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 20, 2021
Thus far, Chuck Schumer hasn’t indicated that he will now be taking his legal and procedural guidance from Omar, though he is certainly considering all of his options. In the meantime, the “my way or the highway” squad members will apparently continue to try to simply make up the rules as they go along to suit their own convenience. (Fox News)
The Senate parliamentarian determined that lawmakers cannot include a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens in a budget reconciliation package, but Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is pushing the Senate and the Biden administration to do it anyway.
Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough determined Sunday night that the provision fell outside the scope of what is allowed in a reconciliation bill – which cannot be filibustered, thus requiring the support of only a simple majority in the Senate.
“This ruling by the parliamentarian, is only a recommendation. @SenSchumer and the @WhiteHouse can and should ignore it,” Omar said. “We can’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to do the right thing.”
I really need to invite Ilhan Omar along with us on our next road trip. Perhaps when the state troopers pull us over for doing 87 in a 55 zone she can explain to them that the speed limits signs are really just “recommendations” about how fast you should drive.
I will be the first to admit that the procedural rules in both the House and Senate can be very obscure and confusing at times. Some of them seem to make very little sense to the layman. That’s why we need a set of people who are experts in navigating those arcane rules of order and translating them for the common folk.
But the point here is that we actually do have those sorts of people on the job. You can argue and debate as you wish, but the reconciliation rules (or at least some of them, anyway) are fairly clear even for those of us who prefer to speak and read in common English. I’ve covered this here enough times already that I should be blue in the face by now. The applicable portion of the rules describes a system that was clearly intended to address budget bills where significant amounts of taxpayer money are being appropriated. If both chambers can agree on the need for the money to be appropriated, but not the exact amount, reconciliation is the tool available to close the gap and hammer the competing bills into one final form.
The process is not intended to address sweeping changes to government policy and the implementation of new policies that did not previously exist under the pretense of a small amount of incidental spending. That’s precisely what the Parliamentarian said and I’m confident that Chuck Schumer has been around the block enough times to understand that.
Sadly, this is a pattern we’ve seen in the behavior of Omar, the rest of her friends on “the squad,” and the other new, young guns showing up from the socialist left. They’ll scream from the rooftops about the rules (or their understanding of them) if it serves their benefit. But when a ruling doesn’t go their way the rulebook is tossed out the window in flames. We’ve seen these reactions from the people looking to end the filibuster for some short-term gain, ignoring the obvious consequences that will follow further down the road. It’s the same mindset driving those screaming to pack the courts because some SCOTUS decisions didn’t land the way they preferred.
Hopefully, this will turn out to simply be another temper tantrum and Chuck Schumer will have the political spine to ignore it. But given how much deference the entire Democratic Party – including the President – seems to pay to this very vocal minority in their own ranks, nothing is assured. Would Schumer really try to bulldoze this past the Parliamentarian? And if so, which fallback procedures will the Senate GOP use to maintain the rules of order? It’s yet more drama in the upper chamber, and you shouldn’t expect it to end any time soon.