Thursday, January 24, 2013

Filibuster (Not) Reform

He barely gave 'em heck. Image from source, TPM
I wanted to believe him. At the beginning of the 112th Congress in 2009, we were lead to believe that we might get filibuster reform. After a record number of GOP filibusters in the 111th, Democrats and liberals begged Congress to fix the filibuster; to make a Senator who wanted to block a bill actually get out there and speak. Harry Reid acted as though he might do something about it, but then he didn't. So, the 112th Congress became the most filibusterin'-est Congress in history. They blocked nearly everything, from their own ideas to uncontroversial appointments, their only goal being to thwart Democrats in general and President Obama in specific.

So, this time, frankly, I figured we wouldn't get what we were asking for either. I thought we might get a little taste, but I guessed that Reid was so steeped in the traditions of the Senate, that he wouldn't go for the Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-style rule. And even though I turned out to be right, I'm still bummed out about it. The very idea of working on a "deal" with a cretin like Mitch McConnell is very distasteful. Particularly when you know he was anything--hell, everything--but cooperative with Democrats over the last, oh, forever. But it is what it is. Sadly.


Senate Approves Modest Changes To Filibuster Rule

In two votes Thursday evening, the Senate overwhelmingly approved changes to the rules of the chamber, including the rules governing the filibuster. The final votes were 78-16 and 86-9. The approval of the changes was a disappointing ending for reformers, who had sought to dramatically weaken the filibuster, which has come to be used in recent years by the Republican minority with a frequency unprecedented in Senate history. . .

Read more at: Talking Points Memo


  1. Yep, you betcha, you gotta have filibuster reform.
    Seriously, I think both the Dem's and GOP have abused it. Maybe Harry see's the writing on the wall and that the Dem's will lose a bunch of senators in 2014, he doesn't want to be in the minority and can't use the filibuster.

  2. Two things: nobody was proposing totally getting rid of the filibuster, only making it more of an effort to use. And second, the GOP has abused the filibuster in ways the Dems never dreamed of. . .but maybe they do NOW.


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