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Thread: Filibustergate

  1. -1
    Spesh's Avatar
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    Filibustergate

    House Speaker John Boehner joined fellow Republicans in the Senate on Thursday in their battle to stop Democrats controlling that chamber from curbing filibusters, threatening to ignore bills the Senate sends him if Democrats have abused GOP senators' rights to slow consideration of legislation.

    The threat by Boehner, R-Ohio, represents an unusual escalation across the Capitol building of a bitter partisan fight that has been brewing in the Senate for weeks. It also underscores a Republican effort to retain as much power as they can next year, when Democrats will control the White House and Senate and Republicans will lead only the House.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said that on the first day of the new Congress in January, he may take the unusual step of using a simple majority vote to limit filibusters.

    Usually it takes a two-thirds vote to change Senate rules. A simple majority would mean Democrats could change the filibuster rules without GOP support, and the threat has infuriated Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other Republicans. Democrats will control the new Senate 55-45, including one Democratic-leaning independent....

    Minority parties in the Senate use filibusters — parliamentary delays — to slow or kill legislation. They can only be ended by 60 votes — a margin neither party can achieve without some cooperation from the other side.

    Democrats say Republicans are abusing filibusters by resorting to them too frequently, and statistics show minority Republicans have increasingly used the tactic in recent years. Reid's plan would forbid the use of filibusters when a bill is initially being brought to the Senate floor for debate and require filibustering senators to actually be on the Senate floor, a long-abandoned practice...

    Republicans say they have used filibusters more because Reid blocks them from presenting amendments. Reid, in turn, says Republicans use too much time pushing amendments that make political statements or that are designed to derail bills.
    http://news.yahoo.com/boehner-joins-...-politics.html

    Not sure how i feel about this. Im hesitant to change it for fear of abuse years from now. That said, its being absurdly abused at the moment. Damned if you do, damned if you dont. And lets not kid ourselves, once this change is made it wont go back to 2/3rds again.

    Other than that main point i dont feel its to much to ask for Senators who are engaging the filibuster to actually be present.

    Thoughts and opinions? I could go either way on this issue.
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  2. -2
    Locke's Avatar
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    This is a tough one. Part of me likes the idea because of the way Republicans have acted like nothing more than obstructionists the past 4 years. But I also agree with you, it can and will be abused in the future. This current political state will pass. Not as soon as anyone would like, but it'll pass eventually. When it does, this will be a non-issue. In that sense, I'd prefer if it was left how it is. I guess I'd lean towards leaving it the same, but I'm actually torn on it. I agree with making anyone engaging in a filibuster to be present, though. That's just common sense...

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    TheWalrus's Avatar
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    It needs reform. Enough is enough. Congress wasn't meant to be run on a de-facto 3/5th majority system.

    Here's a cool graph that shows how much the practice of filibusters has changed. Story below.



    What you’re seeing here are the number of “cloture” motions in every congressional session since 1919. Cloture is the procedure used to break a filibuster. Between 1919 and 1975, a successful cloture motion required two-thirds of the Senate. Today, it requires three-fifths, or, in cases where all 100 senators are present and voting, 60 votes. As you can see, the majority is having to try and break many, many, many more filibusters than ever before.

    This is an imperfect measure. On the one hand, it’s susceptible to changes in congressional strategy: If the majority begins trying to break the filibuster more often, you could see more cloture votes, even though the filibuster isn’t actually being used any more frequently. On the other side, it misses the many, many, many filibusters that never receive a cloture vote, either because the majority decides that a cloture vote is too time-consuming — simply holding a cloture vote takes about 30 hours of floor time — or because they won’t win it.


    That said, it is, at least, a relatively consistent measure, and it’s the best one we have. And most observers agree that its basic point is correct: We’re seeing many more filibusters today than we ever did before. But I actually think that’s the wrong way to think about it.


    The issue today isn’t that we see 50, or 100, or 150 filibusters. It’s that the filibuster is a constant where it used to be a rarity. Indeed, it shouldn’t even be called “the filibuster”: It has nothing to do with talking, or holding the floor. It should be called the 60-vote requirement. It applies to everything now even when the minority does not specifically choose to invoke it. There are no longer, to my knowledge, categories of bills that don’t get filibustered because such things are simply not done, though there are bills that the minority chooses not to invoke their 60-vote option on. That’s why Harry Reid says things like “60 votes are required for just about everything,” though there are a small number of bills where the majority uses the budget reconciliation process to short-circuit the 60-vote requirement.
    More at the link:


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/the-history-of-the-filibuster-in-one-graph/2012/05/15/gIQAVHf0RU_blog.html


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  4. -4
    MoFinz's Avatar
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    6 years ago it was the republicans in power and wanting to change the fillibuster rule...now the roles are reversed....if nothing changes, nothing changes


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    Eshlemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    It needs reform. Enough is enough. Congress wasn't meant to be run on a de-facto 3/5th majority system.

    Here's a cool graph that shows how much the practice of filibusters has changed. Story below.



    More at the link:


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/the-history-of-the-filibuster-in-one-graph/2012/05/15/gIQAVHf0RU_blog.html


    The article nails most of it. The filibuster isn't about Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Senators talking and holding the floor...thats only happened one time when D-Sanders was allowed to do an all nigther. Under Reid, the Senate includes a cloture vote to end debate on nearly every bill to supposedly pre-emptive block Republicans acutally carrying out a possible filibuster. Just one time I would love to see Reid attempt to force one of these phantom filibusters scaring him to cloture to actually show up on the floor.
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    spydertl79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoFinz View Post
    6 years ago it was the republicans in power and wanting to change the fillibuster rule...now the roles are reversed....if nothing changes, nothing changes
    Yep, just like the debt ceiling "debate"
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