Jump to content
DC Message Boards
Sign in to follow this  
Guest StraightShooter1972

A Fictional View Of The Filibuster

Recommended Posts

Guest StraightShooter1972   
Guest StraightShooter1972

A $5-million TV ad campaign by People for the American Way portrays the Senate filibuster as a noble tool of American democracy. The ad uses footage from Frank Capra's classic 1939 movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" - a famous scene in which the hero, played by James Stewart, engages in a 23-hour filibuster to prevent his expulsion from the US Senate on trumped-up corruption charges.

 

Real-life filibusters are another matter, however. They can be used for good or evil. In fact, segregationist Southern senators used filibusters to preserve the poll tax and block civil rights and anti-lynching legislation for generations. Among the real-life practitioners were the late Senators Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi.

 

Click the link below for the full article:

 

http://www.factcheck.org/article317m.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Harry Reid   
Guest Harry Reid

Today I stood in front of the Supreme Court and collected more than 1 million petitions from people all across America. Standing there, I heard your voices urging the Senate to reject any attempt to do away with the system of checks and balances our founding fathers created to protect the rights and voices of all Americans.

 

I want to say thank you for standing up and lending your voice to this debate.

 

Republicans want to go "nuclear" and turn the Senate into a rubber stamp for President Bush. They want to silence Senate Democrats -- the one remaining check on President Bush's power. If they can do away with debate in the Senate, they can get whatever they want -- right-wing Supreme Court Justices, Social Security privatization, and tax breaks for the wealthy that will plunge us deeper in debt.

 

But Senate Democrats are going to fight them every step of the way. And this fight will be different than any other fight in the history of the Senate -- because it will include you.

 

The Republicans are arrogant with power. If they don't like the rules, they break them. If they don't like someone standing in their way, they attack them. We have some Republicans in the Senate that are considering throwing out 200 years of Senate history in order to pack the courts with right wing judges. And we have a Republican Leader in the House of Representatives who attacks judges who don't agree with him and corrupts our government by running roughshod over the ethics committee.

 

It's a complete abuse of power by the Republicans and if they can get away with this on judges, they will get away with this on legislation like Social Security too. There is no distinction.

 

This is about more than a few unqualified judges, this is about protecting the rights of disabled Americans to work, the rights of minorities to vote, the rights of every American to have clean air, safe drinking water and be heard in Washington.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Friends of John Kerry   
Guest Friends of John Kerry

Imagine a world in which every appointment to the federal judiciary is tightly controlled by an extreme element within one party. Imagine the kinds of judges that will sit on the federal bench - even on the Supreme Court -- if George W. Bush never needs a single Democratic vote.

 

Imagine the kind of decisions those judges will make on everything from civil rights to civil liberties to a woman's right to choose and family privacy.

 

Republican leaders in the Senate have done more than imagine. They're getting ready to force a Senate vote that would take a giant step towards creating that kind of America.

 

Senator Frist, the Senate Majority Leader, has a plan to make President Bush's judicial nominations immune to a Senate filibuster. If he can convince enough Republican Senators to go along, the nomination and confirmation of judges will become a tightly-controlled, one-party affair.

 

We're calling on Republican Senators to pull their party's leaders back from the brink. It's time to stop advancing a dangerous tactic that would deny millions of Americans any meaningful role in decisions vital to America's future.

 

Sincerely,

 

John Kerry

 

P.S. We need as many people as possible to add their personal support to our USA Today message. Please forward this DCMessageBoard.com post right now to your friends, neighbors, and family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Human   
Guest Human

Friends of John Kerry; you mean like the Democrats did for 40 years???

 

I can see that the democrats don't want to have the scales of justice to be more Balanced?

 

You "Friends of John Kerry" remembered these last elections right?

When the votes were finally broken down, the Democrats concentrated all of their efforts in the Major Cities, and avoided everywhere else. For the Democrats to say that" they are fighting for All Americans" is disinformation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Luke_Wilbur    5

Using the filibuster to delay debate or block legislation has a long history. In the United States, the term filibuster -- from a Dutch word meaning "pirate" -- became popular in the 1850s when it was applied to efforts to hold the Senate floor in order to prevent action on a bill.

 

In the early years of Congress, representatives as well as senators could use the filibuster technique. As the House grew in numbers, however, it was necessary to revise House rules to limit debate. In the smaller Senate, unlimited debate continued since senators believed any member should have the right to speak as long as necessary.

 

In 1841, when the Democratic minority hoped to block a bank bill promoted by Henry Clay, Clay threatened to change Senate rules to allow the majority to close debate. Thomas Hart Benton angrily rebuked his colleague, accusing Clay of trying to stifle the Senate's right to unlimited debate. Unlimited debate remained in place in the Senate until 1917. At that time, at the suggestion of President Woodrow Wilson, the Senate adopted a rule (Rule 22) that allowed the Senate to end a debate with a two-thirds majority vote -- a tactic known as "cloture."

 

The new Senate rule was put to the test in 1919, when the Senate invoked cloture to end a filibuster against the Treaty of Versailles. Despite the new cloture rule, however, filibusters continued to be an effective means to block legislation, due in part to the fact that a two-thirds majority vote is difficult to obtain. Over the next several decades, the Senate tried numerous times to evoke cloture, but failed to gain the necessary two-thirds vote. Filibusters were particularly useful to southern senators blocking civil rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1975, the Senate reduced the number of votes required for cloture from two-thirds (67) to three-fifths (60) of the 100-member Senate.

 

Many Americans are familiar with the hours-long filibuster of Senator Jefferson Smith in Frank Capra's film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but there have been some famous filibusters in the real-life Senate as well. During the 1930s, Senator Huey P. Long effectively used the filibuster against bills that he thought favored the rich over the poor. The Louisiana senator frustrated his colleagues while entertaining spectators with his recitations of Shakespeare and his reading of recipes for "pot-likkers." Long once held the Senate floor for fifteen hours. The record for the longest individual speech goes to South Carolina's J. Strom Thurmond who filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

filibust.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Senator Evan Bayh   
Guest Senator Evan Bayh

Bayh: Senate Must Fix the Filibuster

 

Says “endless legislative delays imperil the Republic” and “obstructionists should pay a price in public notoriety and physical exhaustion”

 

Senator Evan Bayh said that abuse of the filibuster has reached historically alarming proportions and called on Senate leaders to lower the threshold to overcome a filibuster to 55 votes and force senators to physically stand on the Senate floor if they feel strongly enough to employ the stalling tactic.

 

“The challenges facing the country today are so substantial that further legislative delay imperils the Republic,” Bayh wrote in an essay published in Sunday’s New York Times. “Action on the deficit, economy, energy, and health care is imperative, yet our legislative institutions fail to act. The magnitude of our national problems warrants a change in the supermajority requirement.”

 

Under current Senate rules, just one or two determined senators can stop the Senate from functioning, because the mere threat of a filibuster is enough to stop a vote. Bayh said filibusters should require 35 senators to sign a public petition and make a commitment to continually debate an issue in reality, not just in theory, on the Senate floor if they insist on forestalling an up-or-down vote.

 

“Those who obstruct the Senate should pay a price in public notoriety and physical exhaustion,” Bayh said. “That would lead to a significant decline in frivolous filibusters.”

 

Bayh said that filibusters were once reserved for issues of great national import but today are routinely used by senators to foster intentional legislative gridlock. He noted one instance that last fall in which the Senate had to overcome two successive filibusters to pass a bill to provide millions of Americans with extended unemployment insurance.

 

“There was no opposition to the bill; it passed on a 98-0 vote,” Bayh said. “But some senators saw political advantage in drawing out debate, thus preventing the Senate from addressing other pressing matters.”

 

Bayh said filibusters should be limited to no more than one for any piece of legislation.

 

“Currently, the decision to begin debate on a bill can be filibustered, followed by another filibuster on each amendment, followed by yet another filibuster before a final vote,” he said. “This leads to multiple legislative delays and effectively grinds the Senate to a halt.”

 

Bayh, whose father Birch served Indiana in the Senate from 1963 to 1981, noted that lowering the number of votes to overcome a filibuster to 55 from 60 has historical precedence.

 

“During my father’s era, filibusters were commonly used to block civil rights legislation, so in 1975 the requisite number of votes was reduced to 60 from 67,” he said.

 

Bayh said the filibuster should not be abolished outright, because it can foster consensus-building and preserve minority rights when not abused.

 

“The minority has a right to voice legitimate concerns, but it must not employ this tactic to prevent progress on everything at a critical juncture for our country,” Bayh said. “We need to reduce the power of the minority to frustrate progress while still affording them some say.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Truthout   
Guest Truthout

We have got to end the Republican filibuster in the U.S. Senate, which has forced Democrats to get 60 votes to pass any legislation.

 

Enough is enough. When the Republicans controlled the Senate and George W. Bush was in the White House, they were able to pass two major tax breaks for the wealthy with only 58 votes in 2001 and only 51 votes in 2003 through a process called reconciliation. Simply put, reconciliation allows the Senate to pass legislation with a simple 51-vote majority instead of a 60-vote super majority.

 

It's time for the Democrats to use these same reconciliation rules--which the Republicans used to benefit the wealthy--to rebuild the middle class. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LAW   
Guest LAW

“The American people are angry. They are frustrated. They want action,” Senator Bernie Sanders told colleagues. The Senate, he added, could act and should act. Health care reform, for example, could be approved using a time-honored process that takes a simple majority of 51 votes to pass a bill instead of the 60 needed to stop filibusters. “This has been done time after time after time, mostly, in fact, by Republicans,” he added.

 

All across this country people are wondering about what is going on in Congress. People are using the expression that government is broken and that we seem to be a dysfunctional institution. The reason for the alarm is pretty obvious. The United States today faces the most serious set of crises we have seen since the Great Depression. Today, some 17 percent of our people are either unemployed or underemployed. This is on top of coming out of a decade where the median family income actually declined. So people by the millions are today working longer hours for lower wages. They are wondering what kind of life is going to be available for their kids. They are having a hard time affording childcare. They are having a hard time affording higher education. We have 46 million people who are uninsured. We have 45,000 people who die every single year because they can't get to a doctor. If we don't get a handle on health care, their costs are going to be doubling in the next 8 years. We recently saw Blue Cross in California asking for a 39-percent rate increase for their premiums. It is not unusual. It is going on all over the country.

 

People are asking what is going on. Is the middle class going to continue to collapse? Is poverty going to continue to increase? Are you guys going to get your act together and begin to do something that benefits working families in this country?

 

It goes without saying that the American people want -- I want, you want, we all want--bipartisan efforts to solve these problems, but, most importantly, we want to solve these issues. We have to deal with the economy. We have to deal with our friends on Wall Street whose recklessness and illegal behavior has driven this country into this terrible recession. We have to deal with it. We have to deal with health care. We don't have a choice. We have to deal with the $12 trillion national debt. We have to do it.

 

Unfortunately, I think what the American people are beginning to catch onto is that to have bipartisanship, you need a ``bi,'' you need two sides coming together. What we have here in the Senate is not two sides coming together but one side, our Republican friends who are saying: “No, no, no. If it is good for Obama, it is bad for us. No, no, no.”

 

We have had a record-breaking number of filibusters, a record-breaking number of other obstructionist tactics. The end result is the American people are becoming very frustrated.

I do a national radio show every week and every week on that program somebody is calling me up and saying, I don't understand it. When the Republicans were in control of the Senate, they were able to bring forth sweeping proposals. They didn't have 60 votes. What is going on? You guys on your side, those who are independents and in the Democratic caucus, you have 59 votes, why aren't you doing it? It is a good question.

 

More and more people are talking about using the reconciliation process, which is simply a parliamentary procedure which enables us to pass legislation with the end result of saving taxpayers' money and lowering the deficit. The beauty of that approach is you can go forward with 51 votes, not the 60 votes we are having a very difficult time obtaining, because we are not getting much support from the other side. Some people say, “Well, this reconciliation approach is unfair. This is a radical idea. Why are you bringing it forth?” The answer is that this has been done time after time after time, mostly, in fact, by Republicans. So it seems to me if this is a concept the Republicans have used year after year after year for very major pieces of legislation, it is appropriate for the Democratic caucus to do that as well.

 

Many Americans will remember the Contract With America. That was Newt Gingrich's very big idea. I thought it was a very bad idea, but nonetheless it was a very comprehensive approach. The Contract With America in 1995 was passed in the Senate through reconciliation. This was a broad, comprehensive bill. This is what the Washington Post reported President Clinton saying when he vetoed that legislation, and I am glad he did. This is what Clinton said: “Today I am vetoing the biggest Medicare and Medicaid cuts in history, deep cuts in education, a rollback in environmental protection, and a tax increase on working families.”

 

That is not the only effort the Republicans mounted through reconciliation. In 1996, Republicans passed legislation to enact welfare reform through reconciliation.

 

In 1997, Congress used reconciliation to establish new health coverage programs or to substantially expand existing ones, including SCHIP passed through reconciliation.

 

In 2003, Republicans used reconciliation to push through President Bush's 2003 tax cuts. In 2001, Republicans used reconciliation to pass President Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut, much of it going to the wealthiest people in this country.

 

In 2005, Republicans pushed through reconciliation legislation that reduced spending on Medicaid and raised premiums on upper income Medicare beneficiaries.

 

What is my point? My point is that it would be the utmost hypocrisy for Republicans to tell us we should not use reconciliation when they have used it time and time and time again.

 

What has occurred over the last year, year and a half, is an unprecedented level of obstructionism and delaying tactics on the part of our Republican colleagues. The American people are hurting. They want to see this government begin the process of creating millions of decent-paying jobs. They want to see a transformation of our energy system so we can move from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and jobs doing that. The American people want to see us rebuild our infrastructure which is presently crumbling and we can create jobs doing that. In the short term, the American people want us to do something about the high cost of a college education by expanding Pell grants and by also addressing the very serious problems with childcare and the needs for school construction. We can do that as well.

 

If the Republicans choose, as is their right, to try to obstruct and try to use the rules to delay action, I think we should do what they have done time after time after time and that is use the reconciliation process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Human   
Guest Human

Do not Blame the Republicans for your In Actions Lady. It's your side the democrats who have been playing with this.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“The American people are angry. They are frustrated. They want action,” Senator Bernie Sanders told colleagues. The Senate, he added, could act and should act. Health care reform, for example, could be approved using a time-honored process that takes a simple majority of 51 votes to pass a bill instead of the 60 needed to stop filibusters. “This has been done time after time after time, mostly, in fact, by Republicans,” he added.

 

All across this country people are wondering about what is going on in Congress. People are using the expression that government is broken and that we seem to be a dysfunctional institution. The reason for the alarm is pretty obvious. The United States today faces the most serious set of crises we have seen since the Great Depression. Today, some 17 percent of our people are either unemployed or underemployed. This is on top of coming out of a decade where the median family income actually declined. So people by the millions are today working longer hours for lower wages. They are wondering what kind of life is going to be available for their kids. They are having a hard time affording childcare. They are having a hard time affording higher education. We have 46 million people who are uninsured. We have 45,000 people who die every single year because they can't get to a doctor. If we don't get a handle on health care, their costs are going to be doubling in the next 8 years. We recently saw Blue Cross in California asking for a 39-percent rate increase for their premiums. It is not unusual. It is going on all over the country.

 

People are asking what is going on. Is the middle class going to continue to collapse? Is poverty going to continue to increase? Are you guys going to get your act together and begin to do something that benefits working families in this country?

 

It goes without saying that the American people want -- I want, you want, we all want--bipartisan efforts to solve these problems, but, most importantly, we want to solve these issues. We have to deal with the economy. We have to deal with our friends on Wall Street whose recklessness and illegal behavior has driven this country into this terrible recession. We have to deal with it. We have to deal with health care. We don't have a choice. We have to deal with the $12 trillion national debt. We have to do it.

 

Unfortunately, I think what the American people are beginning to catch onto is that to have bipartisanship, you need a ``bi,'' you need two sides coming together. What we have here in the Senate is not two sides coming together but one side, our Republican friends who are saying: “No, no, no. If it is good for Obama, it is bad for us. No, no, no.”

 

We have had a record-breaking number of filibusters, a record-breaking number of other obstructionist tactics. The end result is the American people are becoming very frustrated.

I do a national radio show every week and every week on that program somebody is calling me up and saying, I don't understand it. When the Republicans were in control of the Senate, they were able to bring forth sweeping proposals. They didn't have 60 votes. What is going on? You guys on your side, those who are independents and in the Democratic caucus, you have 59 votes, why aren't you doing it? It is a good question.

 

More and more people are talking about using the reconciliation process, which is simply a parliamentary procedure which enables us to pass legislation with the end result of saving taxpayers' money and lowering the deficit. The beauty of that approach is you can go forward with 51 votes, not the 60 votes we are having a very difficult time obtaining, because we are not getting much support from the other side. Some people say, “Well, this reconciliation approach is unfair. This is a radical idea. Why are you bringing it forth?” The answer is that this has been done time after time after time, mostly, in fact, by Republicans. So it seems to me if this is a concept the Republicans have used year after year after year for very major pieces of legislation, it is appropriate for the Democratic caucus to do that as well.

 

Many Americans will remember the Contract With America. That was Newt Gingrich's very big idea. I thought it was a very bad idea, but nonetheless it was a very comprehensive approach. The Contract With America in 1995 was passed in the Senate through reconciliation. This was a broad, comprehensive bill. This is what the Washington Post reported President Clinton saying when he vetoed that legislation, and I am glad he did. This is what Clinton said: “Today I am vetoing the biggest Medicare and Medicaid cuts in history, deep cuts in education, a rollback in environmental protection, and a tax increase on working families.”

 

That is not the only effort the Republicans mounted through reconciliation. In 1996, Republicans passed legislation to enact welfare reform through reconciliation.

 

In 1997, Congress used reconciliation to establish new health coverage programs or to substantially expand existing ones, including SCHIP passed through reconciliation.

 

In 2003, Republicans used reconciliation to push through President Bush's 2003 tax cuts. In 2001, Republicans used reconciliation to pass President Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut, much of it going to the wealthiest people in this country.

 

In 2005, Republicans pushed through reconciliation legislation that reduced spending on Medicaid and raised premiums on upper income Medicare beneficiaries.

 

What is my point? My point is that it would be the utmost hypocrisy for Republicans to tell us we should not use reconciliation when they have used it time and time and time again.

 

What has occurred over the last year, year and a half, is an unprecedented level of obstructionism and delaying tactics on the part of our Republican colleagues. The American people are hurting. They want to see this government begin the process of creating millions of decent-paying jobs. They want to see a transformation of our energy system so we can move from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and jobs doing that. The American people want to see us rebuild our infrastructure which is presently crumbling and we can create jobs doing that. In the short term, the American people want us to do something about the high cost of a college education by expanding Pell grants and by also addressing the very serious problems with childcare and the needs for school construction. We can do that as well.

 

If the Republicans choose, as is their right, to try to obstruct and try to use the rules to delay action, I think we should do what they have done time after time after time and that is use the reconciliation process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LAW   
Guest LAW

I think America needs to read one of the last public statements Senator Byrd made:

 

Statement of U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd

 

Senate Committee on Rules and Administration

 

“Examining the Filibuster: Silent Filibusters, Holds

 

and the Senate Confirmation Process”

 

June 23, 2010

 

“I commend the Committee for this third hearing on the filibuster and cloture rule, with today’s focus on secret holds and nominations.”

 

“When a small minority – often a minority of one – abuses Senatorial courtesy, and indefinitely delays action on a matter, then I am as adamant as any of my colleagues insisting that Senators should come to the Senate floor and make their objections public.”

 

“When such abuses have occurred, I have supported efforts by others, (and proposed some ideas of my own), to ignore requests for holds after a designated period of time. As Majority Whip, I supported the Democratic Caucus policy not to honor holds after three days. As Majority Leader, I cautioned Senators that I would not delay action on a bill indefinitely because of a hold. In the 108th Congress, I cosponsored, with Senators Wyden and Grassley, Senate Resolution 216, which would have required holds to be disclosed in the Congressional Record after three days. I supported the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, which requires Senators to publicly disclose their intent to object to proceeding to a matter after six days. I am ready to support any reasonable proposal that will do away with indefinite holds.”

 

“However, there are situations when it is appropriate and even important for Senators to raise a private objection to the immediate consideration of a matter with the Leadership, and to request a reasonable amount of time to try to have concerns addressed. I declined to sign the pledge that has been circulated by Senator McCaskill, because it does not differentiate between temporary and permanent holds. There are times when Senators put holds on nominations or bills, not to delay action, but to be notified before a matter is coming to the floor so that they can prepare amendments or more easily plan schedules. Certainly, Senators should not have to forswear requesting private consultation and advanced notification on a matter coming to the floor.”

 

“If the Committee pursues changes to the Senate rules, we must avoid impinging on common sense Senatorial courtesy. We must also realize that if Senators persist in abusing Senatorial courtesies like holds, and taxing the patience of their colleagues by objecting to noncontroversial matters, then Senators are flirting with the loss of those privileges.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest American4Progress   
Guest American4Progress

It's common wisdom that nothing gets done in the U.S. Senate without a 60 vote supermajority, but this common wisdom is entirely too optimistic. Although only a small minority of senators object to any one of President Obama's judicial nominees, confirmations have slowed to such a glacial pace that Republican control over federal trial courts increased since Obama took office. Likewise, a massive 372 bills that passed House during the Obama presidency have yet to receive a vote in the Senate. Only a handful of these bills were even remotely controversial in the House, and 44 of them passed the House unanimously. Such obstruction works, even against uncontroversial bills and nominations, because the Senate's system of filibusters, delay tactics and secret holds empowers just one senator to bring the institution to a standstill. The Senate does not operate by majority rule; It does not really even operate by supermajority rule. Increasingly, the Senate can only act unanimously.

 

THE TOOLS OF OBSTRUCTION: The most valuable commodity in the Senate is not votes, it is time. Sixty senators can break a filibuster through a process known as "cloture," but filibustering senators can force up to 30 hours of post-cloture debate once a filibuster is broken. Although 30 hours may not seem like a lot, when you multiply it across the hundreds of judges, ambassadors and other officials that require Senate confirmation -- not to mention the 372 unpassed bills -- it adds up to more time than there actually exists to move business forward on the Senate floor. For example, take Obama's 44 unconfirmed judicial nominees. At 30 hours per nominee, it would take nearly two months to confirm each of these judges, and that's assuming the Senate worked around the clock on both weekdays and weekends, and that it passed no bills, confirmed no other nominees, and took up no other matters for this entire period. Moreover, in part because just one senator can initiate a filibuster, it's possible for the Senate's single most radical member to bring the entire body to a standstill. To top all of this off, that one senator often doesn't even need to reveal who they are thanks to "secret holds." According to one count, there are 132 secret holds on Obama's judicial nominees and no way to know who is behind them.

 

THE COST OF OBSTRUCTION: The Senate is not a rubber stamp, and it can and should reject bills that don't deserve to be law. But as long as the right can -- under cover of secrecy -- delay Senate business into oblivion, it is unlikely that more than a few the 372 languishing bills will ever be considered on their merits. Beyond essential bills to prevent catastrophic global warming and mitigate the damage caused by the Supreme Court's egregious decision allowing unlimited corporate funds into American elections, these bills were almost entirely uncontroversial in the House. They include measures to prevent prisons from becoming breeding grounds for AIDS, to authorize relief for torture victims, and to ensure that college dorms are equipped with fire sprinklers. Even bills to enable a full investigation into BP's catastrophic oil spill and to ensure that BP is held accountable for this spill are being denied a Senate vote. Meanwhile, obstructing Obama's judicial nominees has one purpose: maintaining the right's stranglehold on the federal judiciary. Until this stranglehold is broken, everything from health care reform and stem cell research to the environment and the fairness of American elections is in jeopardy.

 

THE POWER OF ONE: Obstructionism could get a whole lot worse if any one of the Tea Party's radical slate of candidates joins the Senate. Under the Senate's anachronistic rules, just one senator can forbid any Senate committee from holding hearings after 2pm. Likewise, a single senator can demand that every proposed amendment to a pending bill be read aloud -- wasting hours of time in the process. Indeed, the Senate's ability to function is built upon unanimous consent agreements. If just one senator refuses to join any of these agreements, the body will effectively shut down. This is not an academic concern. When Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle served in the state legislature, it was common to say that bills passed "62 to Angle," because of Angle's pattern of casting solitary "no" votes. Likewise, Kentucky GOP candidate Rand Paul has promised to oppose any budget which includes a penny of deficit spending, effectively demanding that the Senate do the impossible. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who is already staking out a role as the leader of the Senate's emerging extremist faction, admitted that his goal for the Senate is "complete gridlock." In other words, next year's Senate class could include a number of senators who simply aren't in touch with reality, and it only takes one to sabotage the entire legislative body.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×