Friday, November 22, 2013

GOP Cries "Tyranny!" as Reid Nukes the Filibuster

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Harry Reid is giving them hell in the Senate! But Honey Badger Don't Care!

The change we propose today would ensure executive and judicial nominees get an up-or-down vote on confirmation – yes or no. This rule change will make cloture for all nominations other than Supreme Court nominees a majority threshold vote – yes or no.
The Senate is a living thing. And to survive, it must change. To the average American, adapting the rules to make Congress work again is just common sense. This is not about Democrats versus Republicans. This is about making Washington work – regardless of who’s in the White House or who controls the Senate. To remain relevant and effective as an institution, The Senate must evolve to meet the challenges of a modern era.
~ Senator Harry Reid, D-Nevada, Asking for Filibuster Reform on Floor of the Senate, 11-21-13

From Huffington Post
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled the trigger Thursday, deploying a parliamentary procedure dubbed the "nuclear option" to change Senate rules to pass most executive and judicial nominees by a simple majority vote.
The Senate voted 52 to 48 for the move, with just three Democrats declining to go along with the rarely used maneuver.

From now until the Senate passes a new rule, executive branch nominees and judges nominated for all courts except the Supreme Court will be able to pass off the floor and take their seats on the bench with the approval of a simple majority of senators. They will no longer have to jump the traditional hurdle of 60 votes, which has increasingly proven a barrier to confirmation during the Obama administration.

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I realize that neither party has been blameless for these tactics. They developed over the years. But today’s pattern of obstruction, it just isn’t normal. It’s not what our founders envisioned. A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to refight the results of an election is not normal, and for the sake of future generations we can’t let it become normal.
~ President Obama in remarks after the Filibuster Change

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Neither a Democratic president or a Republican president should face this level of obstructionism in exercising their Constitutional responsibility. They have a right to get an up or down vote on staffing the administration and on judges. Now a Republican president of the future will not face this unacceptable obstacle, either.
. . . The filibuster has been used to wage continuous warfare on the presidency. The Senate said today that’s not acceptable. A huge thank you to the leadership team.
~ Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, to Greg Sargent on The Plum Line, WaPo

. . . Reid never would have used the “nuclear option” without the lemming-like behavior of Senate Republicans. Less ideological GOP members could have voted more frequently to break cloture and force an up-or-down vote, as members of both parties have done, even as filibuster use has increased. They could have stopped the unprecedented number of filibusters of presidential nominations, given that the president has a clearly defined constitutional responsibility to appoint people. They could have stopped blocking duly passed laws. But they didn’t.
So Republicans decrying filibuster reform as “dictatorial” or “a day to be sad” or other hyperbolic claims should look in the mirror. No one forced them to turn filibusters from a rarity to an oft-used tool for nullification and unprecedented obstruction. They have only themselves to blame.
~ James Downe on Washington Post

1 comment:

  1. I believe the US is only country where there's such thing as a filibuster. But I think it's good it is going to become history. Using it to undermine a democratically elected president, is in my eyes a kind of treason.