Hannity whopper: Budget reconciliation process would deprive Republicans of vote

››› ››› MORGAN WEILAND

On his Fox News program, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that "a parliamentary procedure called reconciliation" would allow the Obama administration to pass legislation "without any Republicans even having an opportunity to vote." In fact, according to the House Rules Committee's description of the budget reconciliation process, the version of reconciliation legislation agreed to during the conference process is then "brought back to the full House and Senate for a vote on final passage. Approval of the conference agreement on the reconciliation legislation must be by a majority vote of both Houses."

During the March 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity falsely claimed that "a parliamentary procedure called reconciliation" would allow the Obama administration to pass legislation "without any Republicans even having an opportunity to vote." Guest and fellow Fox News host Mike Huckabee replied that this is "horribly dangerous because it really does bypass the entire system of the American government, where we're supposed to have an honest debate." In fact, the budget reconciliation process does not deny Republicans or any member of Congress "an opportunity to vote." According to the House Rules Committee's description of the budget reconciliation process, the version of reconciliation legislation agreed to during the conference process is then "brought back to the full House and Senate for a vote on final passage. Approval of the conference agreement on the reconciliation legislation must be by a majority vote of both Houses."

From the House Rules Committee document:

Conference Process: Once a reconciliation bill is passed in the House and Senate, members of each body meet to work out their differences. A majority of the conferees on each panel must agree on a single version of the bill before it can be brought back to the full House and Senate for a vote on final passage. Approval of the conference agreement on the reconciliation legislation must be by a majority vote of both Houses. In the House, the conference report is usually given a special rule from the Rules Committee to govern floor consideration. In the Senate, the floor debate is governed by Senate rules and specific provisions of the Budget Act. In contrast to the concurrent budget resolution, a reconciliation bill is sent to the President for approval or disapproval.

From the March 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

HANNITY: And there's something even more frightening. Because I think -- if people like the Chicago way, if they like Chicago politics, then they're gonna love the Obama administration. There was one very scary piece of news that came out, with all the [Treasury Secretary Timothy] Geithner news, a lot of people didn't pay attention to, besides the vote that I just mentioned. And that is that the Congress now along with the White House is looking now to use a parliamentary procedure called reconciliation as a means of passing their health-care reform, their tax increases, their extreme cap and trade, their energy policies. Now, that would mean that they pass all of these things without any Republicans even having an opportunity to vote. How dangerous do you think that is?

HUCKABEE: It's horribly dangerous because it really does bypass the entire system of the American government, where we're supposed to have an honest debate. It also breaks a very important promise that Barack Obama made to the American people. He promised transparency, he promised bipartisanship, he promised a new way of doing things in Washington. This is a violation of all of those promises, and I think he's gonna have an increased credibility problem, along with his Treasury secretary and the Senate Banking Committee chairman, if he continues to have campaigned on one platform and govern on --

HANNITY: Yeah.

HUCKABEE: -- a completely different one.

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