The Senate Parliamentarian and the Reconciled Tax Bill


There has been much made of how the GOP is contorting themselves to keep the deficit increase below 1.5 trillion so they could avoid the filibuster with their tax bill. Indeed, I was unconvinced they could find a way to put a reconciled bill together that did this. They now claim they have, but it is hard to see how. They have basically given everyone what they asked for, lowered the top rate an additional 2.6%, increased the SALT exemption, and taken the most unpopular revenue generators out. My guess is that even a cursory look will show that the new bill increases the deficit substantially more than 1.5 trillion, even if the rosy estimates of the original Senate bill are used.

So, my question is, why don’t the Democrats demand a ruling by the Parliamentarian as to whether bill falls under reconciliation rules? There is a 0% chance that she has enough information to know the answer based on the information available. It would likely take several days for her to make any kind of reasonable assessment, which is good on its own, but I think there is a decent chance she would score it in violation, particularly given the obvious gimmicks (e.g. sunsetting the middle/lower bracket cuts in 2025) in it.

I honestly don’t see what the Democrats have to lose by doing this. I realize that there is a very good chance that McConnell would simply change Senate rules to cut the Parliamentarian out of the scoring loop or simply eliminate the position altogether. Heck, he might even be willing to nuke the filibuster to get this passed. But, if he would do it for this, then he’ll almost certainly do it the next time he needs something, so we might as well get it over with.

Now, I’m no expert on the Senate rules, so maybe there is a reason this can’t be done. Are there any wonks out there who understand the rules well enough to explain why this isn’t even being discussed as an issue?


Is Sen. McConnell under any real obligation to follow the Parliamentarian’s rulings? I don’t think the position has any real power and her interpretations on the rules are just that. She makes a call, and then passes it to the Majority Leader as a recommendation. The Majority leader can accept it or ignore it.


You liberals are getting very desperate. Just remember, it’s only going to get worse for you after 2018. We may not get everything we want from Trump, but we are going to destroy enough of the Obama legacy to make it like his presidency never even happened.


Why were you liberals jumping with joy when nitwit Bernie talked about GIVING AWAY another $16,000,000,000 to the free loaders ? Didn’t the deficit matter then ??? :roll_eyes:


Good information. I’m glad to know that the Parliamentarian is another useless government position that no one pays attention to.


Of course it will. Who was it that said deficits don’t matter. Republicans don’t care how much the national debt is wracked up as long as it isn’t on things that they don’t like. And vise versa with the Democrats