The leaders of the Senate Budget Committee yesterday warned the Obama administration against pursuing the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation measure as a strategy for moving climate change legislation.
Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) did not explicitly say that using reconciliation is not an option for moving cap-and-trade legislation. But he warned White House Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag that such a path contained several pitfalls.
One of those, Conrad said, is the so-called Byrd rule, which prohibits the Senate from using reconciliation to move "extraneous" matters. "We've been told by parliamentary experts that if one tried to write comprehensive legislation using reconciliation, the legislation, once the Byrd rule had been applied, would look like Swiss cheese," Conrad said.
The "extraneous matters" are defined under the Budget Act, but its practical implementation remains the subject of interpretation by the presiding officer of the Senate with consultation from the parliamentarian. Any senator can raise a point of order against a provision if he believes it violates the Byrd rule, which can then only be waived by a 60 vote majority. ...
Friday, March 13, 2009
Senate budget leaders warn against using spending bill to move climate plan
Senate budget leaders warn against using spending bill to move climate plan; The New York Times