Define your terms, define the debate

The Byrd rule says items that are extraneous to the budget can not be included in a reconciliation bill, and thus avoid a Senate filibuster.

What is the definition of “extraneous”?  That’s up to a majority of the Senate.  If 50 Senators and the Vice President say something is extraneous, it is.  It’s a matter of political interpretation.  Whatever the Senate says is extraneous, is extraneous.  No court will intervene, since all the Senate is doing is interpreting its own rules.

So, come September, when we reach “The fiscal cliff to end all fiscal cliffs” , per Politico, it will boil down to this:  we run out of money because the debt ceiling isn’t raised, and the government shuts down, because a few Republican Senators insist on their, literal, interpretation of the word “extraneous”.

We want a very broad interpretation, one that accommodates the Monster Budget Reconciliation Bill of 2017, which will contain fixes for everything, and tax reduction and reform to boot.

That’s what you do with a log jam.  You blow it up.

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