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Word of the Day: Byrd Rule

by Countable | 12.20.17

Why this word? Why today?

House Republicans had to revote on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act because Democrats, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, argued that three additions to the bill violated the Byrd rule.

The procedural act is named after former Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV). Its purpose, as Fortune summarized, is "to place limits on the reconciliation process by barring the inclusion of non-budgetary provisions." That’s because reconciliation – which the GOP employed to pass the tax bill – is supposed to only be used for matters that balance (or “reconcile”) the budget.

The three elements of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that violated the Byrd rule:

  • The Cruz provision, which allowed 529 college-savings plans to be used for homeschool expenses.

  • A provision on determining university endowment taxes.

  • The name of the bill was incorrectly placed.

—Josh Herman

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(25)
  • Donna
    12/20/2017
    ···

    Allowing any legislation to be passed by 50 votes should be unconstitutional, regardless of the political party in the majority. The current, GOP-led Congress incorrectly believes they were handed power to do as they please with our country and our government. They are incorrect. The current president was NOT supported by a majority of the voters. The current Congress was elected through extreme gerrymandering of districts. The GOP holds the slimmest of margins in the Senate. Our government was designed to allow equal and fair representation of all citizens. Thanks to the tribal partisanship we have allowed to evolve, that is no longer true. Maybe it is time to abolish both political parties and force politicians to run for office on their merit, without outside influence and big-dollar donors. Denying either party to participate in our government SUCKS. The GOP did not really invent that practice, they simply raised it to an art form. Allowing it to continue without consequence is in direct conflict with the beliefs on which this nation was founded. Abolish the reconciliation process. Force elected officials to work together and compromise. Give the government back to its citizens. Then the politicians can brag about accomplishing something worthwhile.

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  • KansasTamale
    12/20/2017
    ···

    So much of this bill is unconscionable as well as unconstitutional it’s ridiculous. Allowing a bill like this to pass with only 50 votes is horrible. 3/4 of Congress should be required to agree on any bill going thru either chamber. Another consideration about rushing a bill thru with 50 % is that mistakes are made as in this bill. How do we Know those are the only mistakes??? We can’t know. THIS BILL IS A SLIPPERY SLOPE TO RECESSION/DEPRESSION AND THE GOP DOESN’T CARE.

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  • Lexpost
    12/20/2017
    ···

    Indybones, you may not like to hear this but under Obama, job growth was running around 200,000 jobs per month, economic growth was about 2% annually and the stock market was already on a 6 year bull run. You complain about the debt (det) Obama’s ran up, what do you think will happen with a 1.5 trillion hole in the budget. And before you rant and rage about how shoveling money at record profiting corporations will lead to new jobs, tell me why. Because they’ve just been waiting for tax cuts to start hiring? They had plenty money to hire more people, if they wanted to. Remember each job, without the added business to support it, costs a company money, it lowers their profit. The tax cuts just increased their profit and they didn’t have to create one job. Why are they going to now? And lastly, PLEASE USE YOUR SPELLCHECK, it will make reading your nonsense much easier. Thank you.

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  • Amy
    12/20/2017
    ···

    Thanks for lining your own pockets while exploding the National debt. #midterm elections #2018

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  • John
    12/20/2017
    ···

    I agree with Donna. Abolish the "reconcilliation" practice. If our Country is ever going to return to the core principle of 'compromise" as necessary and intigral component of our democratic government any act or bill should require the support of at least some component of the opposition party - assuming our representatives return to the principal of voting their conscience rather that a strict party line.

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  • Cndrla
    12/20/2017
    ···

    2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020!!!!

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  • RadicalModerate
    12/20/2017
    ···

    Who deserves a tax cut? Your phone or tablet has materials in it that can only come from the democratic republic of Congo. There are hundreds of kids there right now who will starve to death tonight. Free market capitalism has failed them. 99% of them.

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  • Keri
    12/20/2017
    ···

    The Republicans are liars cheaters and just plain deplorable they don’t care about their constituents they care about their pocketbooks and their party above all else —a bunch of hypocrites

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  • RadicalModerate
    12/20/2017
    ···

    Cheaters

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  • Robert
    12/20/2017
    ···

    Unfortunately, this won’t stop them or this bill.

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  • indybones
    12/20/2017
    ···

    Let the pubs prove them selves, then you can Howell all you idiots want. Who among you cried when Obama run up more det than all our prior Presidents and congress. Ruin jobs along with this country. Tried to make the USA a third world country. Now we find he even let the teriest run drugs in to the US. Perhaps there are to many of you out there who used the drugs..

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  • Ben
    12/21/2017
    ···

    Most of y'all commenting here are asking for compromise, but the Democrats are not willing to accept anything the Republicans offer. And before you say it, I know the Republicans were the same way when the Democrats had the majority. I agree something needs to be done differently, but calling names and making disparaging remarks is not it. I don't like the tax plan either, but I will take it as a move in the right direction. I think everyone should pay something, even if it just a small amount. By raising the standard deduction, this tax plan will allow even more people to miss out on contributing to the good of this great country. I don't like deductions either. They are just a way of rewarding a choice. What if I choose to rent instead of being a homeowner? Should you pay less taxes than me simply because you get to deduct your mortgage interest from your income? Should I pay less because I choose to get married and have children than you who chooses to be single? Over time our leaders have really made a mess of our tax code, so any improvement I'll gladly accept.

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  • Robert
    12/21/2017
    ···

    First of all Praise and Glory to God, Our Load & Savior, Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. God First & America Second making rt America Greater.

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  • Connie
    12/21/2017
    ···

    Reconciliation. Isn't it interesting how all these words they use have a meaning that is totally opposite from the real definition. The names of bills and policies sound so patriotic but are actually designed to destroy what they sound as though they support. Ugh. Republicans, ugh,

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  • Luann
    12/26/2017
    ···

    The original rules were written for a very good reason and should remain enforced. Changing the rules to allow congress to circumvent rules to achieve their parties agenda is wrong!

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  • Mary
    12/21/2017
    ···

    What happened to representation from all of the congress that was elected? This is a shyster bill push through by people who have no business representing our democracy. It's self serving and dangerous.

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  • Sean
    12/21/2017
    ···

    Start the Revolution.......in a peaceful way but start it none the less!

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  • Bob
    12/21/2017
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    Where were all of you fiscal conservatives while nobama was spending money like a drunken sailor? Pathetic

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  • Kirby
    12/22/2017
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    It is criminal how things are getting past with just 50 votes.

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  • Keith
    12/21/2017
    ···

    To use the examples of this tax bill and the failed healthcare bill, something as drastic as these should never be able to pass by 1-5 votes. When the vote is that close, it can hardly be called a “majority decision.” And when something as impactful as healthcare or taxes is only passed by so few votes, it says more that the people are opposed to it, than favorable. I’ve worked in churches where we would hire pastors based on a congregational vote, and those candidates had to get at least 80% of the vote. One candidate even said that the congregation was so small, that he would only take it with a 90% vote. A simple majority wasn’t enough. It had to be a reasonably overwhelming majority. Because in the case of those churches, it’s hard to function when there’s a clear division amongst the congregation. Likewise, when it is something as drastically consequential as taxes, it should be put into a category of overwhelming majority. It takes a 2/3 Vote by congress to overturn a constitutional Amendment; however, just one more vote than the other side to overhaul tax code, or pass healthcare legislation? That’s ridiculous. Because there is also such a thing as the fallacy of majority. Just because the public wants it, doesn’t mean they are acting justly. The majority of confederates felt that people of color were inferior to white people. It didn’t make it true. Passing legislation by one more vote than the other side is technically a majority, but it’s not necessarily the will of the people. And there’s no guarantee that those representatives are even fairly representing their people. They could be representing Party or Lobbyists, and therefore decide against the will of their constituents. For a bill pass by 2 votes, should implore you to go back to the floor, and work toward something that is overwhelmingly supported. Because also in the case of this tax bill, it was overwhelmingly unfavorable to the public, and republicans passed it anyway. And then celebrated that they performed the will of the people? Let’s do something about this.

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