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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why not Reconciliation for Extending Tax Cuts

In all the talk about the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the rich, there has been no discussion of the giant elephant in the Senate Chamber. No I don't mean Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republican obstructionists, there has been plenty said about them. I mean no one is talking about the possibility of passing the tax changes through the reconciliation process (No hits on the Washington Post website this month).

The original Bush cuts were passed under the reconciliation rules, why can't the Obama extensions of the poor and middle class be passed under these rules too? While we are at it, under reconciliation we could also extend unemployment benefits. Perhaps we could also provide additional funds to States, towns, and cities who have moved back into budget cutting and layoff modes.

Is it that forcing reconciliation would violate Obama's post partisan hopes? Forget it, these hopes have long been shattered. Or is it that the vote counters know that under reconciliation they would not be able to get a simple majority? If that is the case, let's force a vote and get all those Senators to show their colors.

Sent to Washington Post

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