Perceptive thread. IMO this is more due to changes in the US Senate than to Obama vs Biden.

The 2009 Senate was still steeped in the old traditions and wouldn't have done things this way. But after a decade of The McConnell Experience, opinion's changed

Given the centrality of budget reconciliation to Trump and Biden's year one legislative strategies, it's amazing that in 2009 Democrats hoped to use that process for... nothing.

It was just a backup plan in case the ACA failed. (Luckily so, bc they needed it)
But the experience of the Obama years made it obvious to everyone that a new president could no longer hope to get opposition party votes to pass his top agenda items through regular order.

So McConnell/Trump pursued reconciliation-or-bust in 2017 and Dems are doing the same now
I'm talking about for the big bill, the mega-bill that's coming through reconciliation, which is the true heart of Dems' agenda. And for the American Rescue Plan before it. Both entirely designed for reconciliation with no illusions of getting 60

The bipartisan infrastructure deal would be significant, and a nice achievement for Biden. But it pales in comparison to what Dems hope to achieve through their reconciliation bill
Also worth noting that much of the ACA couldn't have passed through reconciliation due to the Byrd Rule.

Ds are now reverse-engineering a mega-bill based on what they think/hope can go through reconciliation. But it means prioritizing a certain sort of policy (spending-focused)

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More from @awprokop

22 Jul
Question is whether the committee would have even the remotest chance of achieving such consensus. I'd argue no for reasons laid out here:…
The price of "consensus" on an issue with major political ramifications is often a gentlemen's agreement to make neither side look too bad. That's impossible here because of the nature of the issue. (Unless the committee decided to only focus on Capitol Police preparedness) Image
Furthermore McCarthy made clear all along he'd choose appointees prone to run defense for Trump, not to lend any eventual findings a bipartisan halo.

So would having those appointees on the committee make the process more credible, or ensure it's a partisan food fight?
Read 4 tweets
19 Jul
Have to say it makes me a bit queasy when people treat a declination decision on a particular case as coming straight from the AG and get mad at the AG for it. Feels a bit… familiar.
Did the prosecutors involved feel they had a strong case re: Wilbur Ross? How was the decision not to bring charges made?

We actually have no idea. But the narrative has set in among some that this is something Merrick Garland personally did and deserves blame for
The feds searched Giuliani's home and office just a few months ago. Clearly there is no "amnesty for Trump cronies" policy from AG Garland.

Different prosecutors have various different investigations going, and they'll reach different conclusions…
Read 5 tweets
14 Jul
Schumer re: budget resolution deal: "Every major program that Pres. Biden has asked us for is funded in a robust way, and in addition we are making some additions to that," most notably Medicare expansion to cover dental / vision / hearing
This reconciliation bill would apparently cover:
1. Tax credits for families
2. Paid leave
3. Child care subsidies
4. Universal pre-K
5. Free community college
6. Clean energy
7. Housing
8. Long-term care
9. Medicare dental/vision/hearing
10. Medicare drug prices
& more...
But, of course, in the end Manchin and Sinema's votes (and all other 48 Senate dems, and a House majority) will be needed to pass it. So still quite a ways from the finish line
Read 4 tweets
13 Jul
The disconnect between Biden's rhetoric and his actions on voting rights that many are pointing out is real. If this is an enormous threat to democracy, why won't he support changing the filibuster over it?

Only seems to be two possible answers... (cont'd)
Possibility #1: Biden and his aides don't fully buy the claims about the imminent threat to democracy or the importance of the For the People Act. There have been signals from the White House that this is part of the story.…
Possibility #2: Biden simply sees no path to success on passing democracy reform legislation through Congress, and prefers to focus on what can pass. And he needs Manchin and Sinema for, well, anything else, ruling out tough tactics against them…
Read 6 tweets
7 Jul
Once Maya Wiley was eliminated, 73,979 of her voters' ballots were exhausted (because they ranked neither Adams nor Garcia).

Adams's margin of victory is 8,426 votes in the current count.
That was about a third of Wiley voters (in the three-way matchup round) who then ended up with exhausted ballots.

The rest broke strongly for Garcia (129,446 to Garcia, and 49,669 to Adams)
If the outcome was ultimately determined by a lack of voter understanding of the system, that wouldn’t be ideal.

But of course, it’s only because of ranked choice that Garcia was in contention at all.…
Read 4 tweets
27 Jun
In thinking about what specific revisions to the Electoral Count Act are necessary, I think it's important not just to look backward at 2020, but to consider how a future crisis may be somewhat different (mini-thread)
The ECA can come into play in three scenarios:
1.) A disputed state outcome (two slates of electors) can be settled by Congress
2.) A state acting corruptly can have its EVs thrown out by Congress
3.) Legitimate state results can be corruptly thrown out by Congress
In 2020 all the states ended up submitting legitimate results. So the problem that manifested on January 6 was #3 — a corrupt attempt by a congressional faction to throw out legitimate results.
Read 4 tweets

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