MORE REPUB INSANITY, BUT THIS IS ACTUALLY RATHER FUNNY IN A "NO HONOR AMONG THIEVES" SORT OF WAY.Republicans Worry About Objectivity Of Parliamentarian They Appointed
Senate Republicans have begun a campaign to cast doubt on the Senate Parliamentarian and his capacity to impartially handle the reconciliation process for passing health care fixes. Several lawmakers and GOP officials told Politico that Alan Frumin is too close to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and thus predisposed to rule in his favor when reconciliation is raised.
It's a bold gambit to "work the ref" before the game has begun and it reflects some chutzpah on the part of the GOP, considering the recent history of the position.
Frumin was elevated to the post by Republican leadership in 2001, in part because he had a reputation for adhering to institutional mores rather than personal ideology. At the time, Majority Leader Trent Lott said he was confident Frumin could do the job, having known him for many years.
"It's going to be pretty hard for anybody to be too critical of it," Lott said of the appointment.
For Republicans to now raise concerns that Democratic leadership has compromised Frumin's objectivity is even more peculiar considering the GOP's antics leading up to his hiring.
In May 2001, Republican leadership fired Frumin's predecessor, Robert Dove, after he issued a series of rulings that complicated their efforts to pass aspects of the Bush tax cuts and budget proposals through reconciliation. Dove had decided it was inappropriate for money intended for natural disaster relief to be considered through budgetary rules -- and he was summarily axed.