Scope Creep – Govt Example

Seen Positively could this be called “evolution”?

“Obama care” was passed as two bills as a strategy to use “reconciliation rules” to speed / limit debate – although those rules stipulate 10 year fiscal affect… And were rejected when first tried for Clinton’s “Hilary Care”
See “reconciliation” in full articles excerpted below:
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http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/25/health.care.main/index.html

That situation prompted the two-bill strategy Democrats are using. After passing the Senate bill without changes, House Democrats passed the fixes bill Sunday to alter provisions they did not like. Because the bill was being handled under the reconciliation rules in the Senate, only 51 votes were needed for passage.

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http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconciliation_(United_States_Congress)
Reconciliation is a legislative process of the United States Senate intended to allow consideration of a budget bill with debate limited to twenty hours under Senate rules.[1] Reconciliation also exists in the United States House of Representatives, but because the House regularly passes rules that constrain debate and amendment, the process has had a less significant impact on that body.

Although reconciliation was originally understood to be for the purpose of improving the government’s fiscal position (reducing deficits or increasing surpluses), the language of the 1974 act referred only to “changes” in revenue and spending amounts, not specifically to increases or decreases. Former Parliamentarian of the Senate Robert Dole has stated that reconciliation

was never used for that purpose. But in 1975, just a year after it had passed, a very canny Senate committee chairman, Russell Long of Louisiana, came in to the Parliamentarian’s Office, and he kept having trouble with his tax bills because of the Senate rules. People were offering amendments to them that he didn’t like. They were debating them at length, and he didn’t like that. And he saw in the Budget Act a way of getting around those pesky little problems. And he convinced the Parliamentarian at the time–I was the assistant–that the very first use of reconciliation should be to protect his tax cut bill.[5]


The 1986 Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) contained some health care provisions

The Byrd Rule (as described below) was adopted in 1985 and amended in 1990. Its main effect has been to prohibit the use of reconciliation for provisions that would increase the deficit beyond 10 years after the reconciliation measure.

Congress used reconciliation to enact President Bill Clinton’s 1993 (fiscal year 1994) budget. (See Pub.L. 103–66, 107 Stat. 312.) Clinton wanted to use reconciliation to pass his 1993 health care plan, but Senator Robert Byrd insisted that the health care plan was out of bounds for a process that is theoretically about budgets.[citation needed]

In 1997, Congress passed the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 which was a reconciliation bill that reduced taxes and hence increased the deficit, but was paired with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (H.R. 2014 and H.R. 2015 respectively), each signed by President Clinton. In 1999, the Congress for the first time used reconciliation to pass legislation that would increase deficits without a companion bill that reduced spending (thereby ignoring the bill from 1975): the Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act 1999. This act was passed when the Government was expected to run large surpluses. It was subsequently vetoed by President Bill Clinton. A similar situation happened in 2000, when the Senate again used reconciliation to pass the Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act 2000, which was also vetoed by Clinton. At the time, the use of the reconciliation procedure to pass such bills was controversial.[7]

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One Response to Scope Creep – Govt Example

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