Skip to content
 

The Role of Reconciliation Instructions

For those who are trying to follow the nearly incomprehensible debate over reconciliation, it is worthwhile keeping in mind the controlling reconciliation instructions, which are contained in Sections 201 and 202 of the Concurrent Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2010.  The exact language of these instructions turns out, it appears, to be critically important. For example, the reconciliation instructions instruct the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to report changes in laws within its jurisdiction to reduce the deficit by $1 billion for FYs 2009-2014.  But the heathcare “fix” bill, which the House and Senate leadership wishes to pass through reconciliation in order to bypass a Senate filibuster, would not contain such savings.  According to this article in the Hill, the solution to this problem is to combine the healthcare fix with a completely unrelated bill regarding student loans, which is scored as achieving net savings for the government. The article states: “A Senate Democratic aide noted that the student lending measure would be necessary for the HELP Committee to craft a reconciliation bill that produced the required savings. Without piggybacking on the lending bill, it would become more difficult to use reconciliation to pass healthcare fixes under the HELP Committee’s jurisdiction.” As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up. The 2010 reconciliation instructions are set forth below: SEC. 201. RECONCILIATION IN THE SENATE. (a) COMMITTEE ON FINANCE.—The Senate Committee on Finance shall report changes in laws within its jurisdiction to reduce the deficit by $1,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2014. (b) COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR, AND PENSIONS.— The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions shall report changes in laws within its jurisdiction to reduce the deficit by $1,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2014. (c) SUBMISSIONS.—In the Senate, not later than October 15, 2009, the Senate committees named in subsections (a) and (b) shall submit their recommendations to the Senate Committee on the Budget. Upon receiving all such recommendations, the Senate Committee on the Budget shall report to the Senate a reconciliation bill carrying out all such recommendations without any substantive revision. SEC. 202. RECONCILIATION IN THE HOUSE. (a) HEALTH CARE REFORM.— (1) The House Committee on Energy and Commerce shall report changes in laws to reduce the deficit by $1,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2014. (2) The House Committee on Ways and Means shall report changes in laws to reduce the deficit by $1,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2014. (3) The House Committee on Education and Labor shall report changes in laws to reduce the deficit by $1,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2014. (b) INVESTING IN EDUCATION.—The House Committee on Education and Labor shall report changes in laws to reduce the deficit by $1,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2014. (c) SUBMISSIONS.—In the House, not later than October 15, 2009, the House committees named in subsections (a) and (b) shall submit their recommendations to the House Committee on the Budget. Upon receiving all such recommendations, the House Committee on the Budget shall report to the House a reconciliation bill carrying out all such changes without any substantive revision..

Leave a Reply