Who’s Afraid of the Senate Parliamentarian?

Why is Ryancare so sick? In short, it’s a House bill written under Senate rules.

.. Under the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974, the reconciliation process would allow Senate Republicans to avoid a Democratic filibuster and repeal and replace Obamacare with a simple 51-vote majority. Nonetheless, the House GOP-leadership bill excludes popular, important, conservative measures because Democrats might try to disqualify them for having a “merely incidental” budget impact.

.. Cruz added: “And even if the parliamentarian arrived upon that erroneous interpretation of the statutory language, the Budget Act of 1974 gives the authority to resolve this question to the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence.”

.. If a Trump-backed House bill guaranteed every illegal alien a free weekly visit to the doctor of his choice, Democrats would explode in rage: “Racists!” they would erupt. “Trump is Satan and the Republicans are his demons! Weekly medical visits? Why not daily? And how dare these Nazis deny undocumented employees the pleasure of house calls?”

.. If the parliamentarian agrees with the Democrats, however, Vice President Pence can ignore her advice and rule the bill in order. If so, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York may attempt to overturn Pence’s decision with a three-fifths majority. Schumer would need to rally all 48 Senate Democrats and twelve Republican senators to reach 60 votes.

.. Ryancare and its discontents could demolish the prospects for securing a 60-seat, filibuster-proof GOP Senate majority. Even worse, Republicans could shrink or even sink their House majority, perhaps returning Nancy Pelosi to the speaker’s chair. It is unfathomable that two months into a unified Republican government, such a nightmare scenario is being discussed. And yet it is, all because the highly intelligent, truly diligent, and dangerously cautious Paul Ryan has fallen victim to a virus that makes him think like a Senate Democrat.