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Majority rules?

Senator Pat Roberts responds to Obama's recess appointment of Don Berwick:

This recess appointment proves the Obama Administration did not have the support of a majority of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate

I'd bet that if Roberts and other Republicans would agree to decide the Berwick nomination on the basis of a majority vote, the White House would happily comply.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 7, 2010; 2:32 PM ET
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The main objective was to avoid having Berwick's views on rationing and his love affair with the British National Health Service exposed to the voters through the hearing process.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | July 7, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

What a joke! If the repiglicans weren't insisting on cloture for him, we would see if there is majority support for his nomination. Right now, the southern rump party has no right to complain about recess appts with so many appointees still pending.

Posted by: srw3 | July 7, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Au contraire srw3, we find out after Jake Tapper from ABC expends a little shoe leather that the White House LIED about the GOP obstructing Berwick's nomination. No GOP Senator put a hold on his nomination. In fact, they looked forward to the hearings and the exposition of Berwick's radical philosophy. Turns out that with the mid terms fast approaching, the Dems did not want to relitigate Obamacare. Next time, get your facts straight!

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | July 7, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting that CincinnatiRIck's comment here appears to be word-for-word the same as a comment posted by sladenyv1 under Ezra's post entitled "Berwick and the NHS"

Nice to see that the parrots all have their talking points.

Posted by: Patrick_M | July 7, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Ezra - you're reading it wrongly, Roberts is trying to say Obama needs a majority, not of the Senate, but a majority of democrat senators, and a majority of republican senators. I'm not sure when that rule was written, but it's likely to make things really difficult to pass...(unlike now of course when everything flies through)

Posted by: ChicagoIndependant | July 7, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

If dems were so intent on getting Berwick confirmed, why had they not scheduled hearings for him?

Berwick's opinion on rationing is scary. I have had leukemia. I spent 123 days in the hospital last year taking chemo treatments. My leukemia was an aggressive kind that required treatment to begin immediately after diagnosis. After 8 rounds of chemo, I had a bone marrow transplant at Duke University. Dr. Berrick would probably have put me on a waiting list or denied treatment due to my age. Thankfully, my treatments didn't depend on some hard-hearted socialist.

Posted by: groovercg | July 7, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Haha, well put Ezra. Republicans whine about process but they hope the public will never realize they're the ones using process to thwart the will of a majority of senators who happen to represent a majority of citizens.

You want to know how I know Republicans were going to filibuster this appointment? Because it was something Obama did.

Too bad no one but bloggers will report this.

Posted by: dplionis | July 7, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Republicans were willing to decide the Berwick nomination on the basis of majority vote. In fact, they expressly wanted a confirmation hearing, as Jake Tapper reports:

Posted by: jakegs | July 7, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it looks like Ezra is just making this one up without facts to support it.

It's also maybe worth noting that Max Baucus never let Berwick's predecessor, Bush's prospective appointee Kerry Weems, come to a vote.

Posted by: tomtildrum | July 8, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

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