Shed a tear for the lobbyists
One of the oddities of the conversation about the reconciliation process is that I'd bet most Americans would actually prefer reconciliation in theory. For one thing, the length of debate is limited, so the two parties don't wage war for a year. For another, it's 51 votes, which means the Senate can actually do things again. And, as Roll Call points out, it's harder for lobbyists to influence:
Industry stakeholders that have spent the past year working overtime to influence almost every aspect of the massive health care reform bill are now struggling to put their imprint on a final product that likely will be shaped by the arcane budget reconciliation process. Lobbyists said that reconciliation does not lend itself well to outside pressure because rules limit the substance of the bill to issues directly tied to the budget. Furthermore, they say now that President Barack Obama has outlined what he wants to see in the measure, there is less leeway for input from industry groups.
I continue to think the degree to which Americans hate watching the legislative process is a bigger issue than either side realizes.
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