US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

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June bug
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#76

Post by June bug »

And yet other countries operate without a filibuster just fine.True, Suranis, but in a parliamentary system, for example, the ruling party faces votes of confidence and other devices that can force early elections and/or the fall of the government. Our system doesn't have those safeguards.

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esseff44
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#77

Post by esseff44 »

As Senator Merkley has proposed the reform, it will remove many of the abuses, but still allow for the more traditional use as a way to make sure the minority has its say. They are not proposing to get rid of the filibuster completely.

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#78

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

I'm pleased to read there may be some GOP senators wanting to join Democratic senators regarding the need for filibuster rules changes. I'm also pleased to read Sen Reid state there will be some changes made whether Republicans join or not.Keeping with his post-election pledge to reform the filibuster, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday proffered that changes to the rules of the upper chamber will be made, leaving it up to Republicans if they would like to participate."There are discussions going on now [over filibuster reform], but I want to tell everybody here. I'm happy I've had a number of Republicans come to me, a few Democrats,” Reid told reporters Tuesday at his weekly press availability. “We're going to change the rules. We cannot continue in this way. I hope we can get something that the Republicans will work with us on.”“But it won't be a handshake,” he added. “We tried that last time. It didn't work.”Asked to confirm if his comments meant that the rules would change and Republicans can choose to be a part of that change if they want, the Nevada Democrat responded, “That's right. Yup."[/break1]huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/harry-reid-filibuster-reform_n_2239401.html]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/0 ... 39401.html

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#79

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

Sen Grassley posted a lengthy [/break1]grassley.senate.gov/news/Article.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1502=43403](48 paragraphs) complaint on his website against what he views as a power grab by Democratic senators. He makes no mention (best I could find) about procedural filibusters and seems to reserve most of his complaining about cloture.Hidden in this novelette is Grassley's complaint against the practice called "filling the tree". Grassley complains a lot about the minority not being able to offer amendments. "Filling the tree" is addressed in Sen Merkley's proposal and may end up being the reason some Republican senators may be open to changing the rules.

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#80

Post by A Legal Lohengrin »

Sen Grassley posted a lengthy [/break1]grassley.senate.gov/news/Article.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1502=43403](48 paragraphs) complaint on his website against what he views as a power grab by Democratic senators. He makes no mention (best I could find) about procedural filibusters and seems to reserve most of his complaining about cloture.Hidden in this novelette is Grassley's complaint against the practice called "filling the tree". Grassley complains a lot about the minority not being able to offer amendments. "Filling the tree" is addressed in Sen Merkley's proposal and may end up being the reason some Republican senators may be open to changing the rules."Filling the tree" is the process in which the majority leader takes up all the possible "slots" for amendments on a bill, so the minority has no opportunity to offer amendments. Merkley's amendment ensures the minority an opportunity to offer amendments.I will note that a minority party can be just about as obstructive with the creative use of the amendment process as with a filibuster, offering silly and counterproductive amendments, including amendments that basically eviscerate the bill as written. They can even offer completely irrelevant or frivolous amendments, although the effectiveness of this is somewhat limited by the Senate rule that amendments must be germane.To me, though, this kind of obstruction looks a lot more like the deliberative process that is supposed to go on in the Senate.The ability to offer amendments is not simply a bone thrown to the minority to calm them down. It's a rules change that balances the power between the parties by taking away a rule (the procedural filibuster) that has been utterly destructive, and replacing it with one that, while it allows the minority to continue being disruptive in a way, requires actual participation for that. When people sit down at the table, even to fight, it is possible something productive will occur. This will not happen when the entire process is stopped just by one grenade-lobber with a procedural filibuster.Blocking amendments by the minority, however, is the kind of tactic that, when used by the majority excessively, gives justification to the minority claim that since they are effectively locked out of the process, they have every right to throw a monkey wrench in the works in the only way they have.The more I think about Merkley's procedure, the more I think it's a balanced approach that does not threaten a tyranny of the majority, something that can be appealing when you are in the majority but which is much less so when you are on the receiving end of it. It is clearly not a power grab. It is, therefore, more likely, if adopted, to be viewed as legitimate. Being viewed as legitimate, it is much less likely, if adopted, simply to be rescinded at the next available opportunity.That's a formula for a rules change that lasts beyond this Senate.

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#81

Post by realist »

Sen. Tom Udall writes controversial filibuster article


Published 12:28 PM MST Dec 05, 2012





Read more: [/break1]koat.com/news/new-mexico/albuquerque/Sen-Tom-Udall-writes-controversial-filibuster-article/-/9153728/17665656/-/ttba5g/-/index.html#ixzz2EHa0LWsR]http://www.koat.com/news/new-mexico/alb ... z2EHa0LWsR








ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —





A New Mexico senator has sparked some strong reaction after writing an opinionated piece about Senate Republicans and the U.S. Senate filibuster process.





Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat, gave his opinion about how easy it is to block a bill anymore, and how it's now impacting the state of New Mexico.





When the new Senate convenes in January, Udall said he is leading the charge for one big rule change on the filibuster: Don't just pick up the phone.





"You should have to go to the Senate floor and speak about it!" said Udall.





There's a news story video but I can't embed it. :(
ImageX 4 ImageX36
Image

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#82

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

That's a formula for a rules change that lasts beyond this Senate.Sen Merkley stated his intention was to "...improve the Senate as a deliberative legislative body." I believe his proposed changes would accomplish that and hope you're right about them becoming permanent (including bolting down the desks).

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#83

Post by MsDaisy »

Well if they need any evidence to support the fact that the filibuster needs reforming Mitch McConnell just handed it to them on a silver platter! Copied over from the debt threadUn-fucking believable! Mitch McConnell Filibusters his own bill! #-o Read the story at TPM[/break1]talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/12/mcconnell-filibusters-his-own-bill-to-lift-debt-limit.php]http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012 ... -limit.php
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#84

Post by Addie »

What a riot Congress is :evil:
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#85

Post by Whatever4 »

Loved the presiding officer's reaction. Whiplash indeed!
"[Moderate] doesn't mean you don't have views. It just means your views aren't predictable ideologically one way or the other, and you're trying to follow the facts where they lead and reach your own conclusions."
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#86

Post by esseff44 »

Loved the presiding officer's reaction. Whiplash indeed!Wasn't that Senator Claire McCaskill. She has a wicked sense of humor. She's the one leading the fight against the fraud and waste in defense contracting. There's where we can save a trillion or two in spending.

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#87

Post by Whatever4 »

Loved the presiding officer's reaction. Whiplash indeed!Wasn't that Senator Claire McCaskill. She has a wicked sense of humor. She's the one leading the fight against the fraud and waste in defense contracting. There's where we can save a trillion or two in spending.Yup. Plus she was the one who co-sponsored (with Patrick Leahy) the infamous S.R. 511 that said the Senate considered John McCain to be a natural born citizen. [/break1]opencongress.org/bill/110-sr511/text]http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-sr511/text
"[Moderate] doesn't mean you don't have views. It just means your views aren't predictable ideologically one way or the other, and you're trying to follow the facts where they lead and reach your own conclusions."
-- Sen. King (I-ME)

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#88

Post by Plutodog »

Sen Merkley and Sen Warren (and five others) want us to sign their filibuster reform petition. Will it do any good? I don't know but I did (and you have to have FB in order to sign, I gather). [/break1]reformthefilibuster.com/merkley/signthepetitition/]http://www.reformthefilibuster.com/merk ... etitition/Reform the FilibusterFar too often, we've seen good ideas stall in the Senate because a single Senator can stop everything without a single word uttered on the Senate floor.In a few short weeks, we can reform the filibuster. But it won't be easy. And it's going to require that the American people speak with one, clear, loud voice.Take action now: Tell the Senate to fix the filibuster.Thank you. Senator Jeff Merkley Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Senator Tom Harkin Senator Amy Klobuchar Senator Jeanne Shaheen Senator Tom Udall Senator-elect Elizabeth WarrenIncludes like a facebook link to[/break1]actionsprout.com/bQpDeq?source=merkley-actnow]http://app.actionsprout.com/bQpDeq?sour ... ley-actnow
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#89

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

After Sen Harry Reid announced there will be some changes made at the start of the 113th Congress you would think several Republican senators would be complaining.





The Senate Minority Leader (Mitch McConnell) has two press releases on his website where he strenuously objects to changing the filibuster rules with less than a super majority vote. The Senate's #2 Republican (Minority Whip Jon Kyl) makes no mention of any proposed changes on his website. The new Minority Whip for the 113th Congress (John Cornyn) makes no mention of any proposed changes and neither does the Senate's #3 Republican (Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus John Thune).


[/break1]mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases]http://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/ ... ssReleases





Two GOP senators known for trying to filibuster/derail anything remotely attached to Pres Obama (Jim DeMint and Rand Paul) must not be aware of these impending changes. Neither has any mention of them on their websites.





Sen Mike Lee does address one of Sen Jeff Merkley's proposed changes. Lee has a press release on his website where he demands the Majority Leader change the rules for "filling the tree" and allow the minority to offer amendments (toldya that was a huge concession).


[/break1]lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=92088222-7b35-4179-bc78-e3fb7c7be8c1]http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index. ... fb7c7be8c1Update:


Several Republican Senators have apparently received their marching orders from Sen McConnell and have begun complaining about an alleged power grab by the Democrats (yeah I know, whodathunkit?)





While visiting Sen Blunt's website I learned Senate Republicans have even created their own website to combat this dastardly plan.


[/break1]blunt.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news?ID=6c3d1053-5f16-49ca-b349-fa557d6bb9a7]http://www.blunt.senate.gov/public/inde ... 557d6bb9a7





The following is from Sen Vitter under the "Blog" button.


Senator Reid’s quest to change the historical rules of debate in the Senate is at the core his desire to silence the minority party. He can complain all he wants about “Republican” filibusters, but I think he fears having to actually consider our proposals or alternatives. It’s become his standard to block any Republican proposal and simply label it a “filibuster.” As majority leader, he’s used his procedural options to block amendments a record 68 times, more than the last six majority leaders combined. Instead of radically changing the rules of the Senate, we should return to a process that gives fair consideration of amendments from both parties. The Senate’s procedures are designed to ensure both parties are heard. By allowing the Majority Leader to completely block proposals from the other side, we’d only be silencing the Americans represented by those senators.


[/break1]blunt.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/nuclear-option-blog?ID=e09614c7-b205-40af-b18a-02139b5b57ae]http://www.blunt.senate.gov/public/inde ... 139b5b57aeSen Reid's practice of "filling the tree" is extremely annoying to the minority. They will be elated when it is eliminated.

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#90

Post by Whatever4 »

The Michigan Senate could use a slow-down mechanism. That's what the filibuster is for: not for blocking everything, but for stopping a rampaging bull elephant (or other animal).
"[Moderate] doesn't mean you don't have views. It just means your views aren't predictable ideologically one way or the other, and you're trying to follow the facts where they lead and reach your own conclusions."
-- Sen. King (I-ME)

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#91

Post by esseff44 »

Rachel did a segment last week on how the GOP gained control of state legislatures and gerrymandered state and congressional districts putting all the urban dems together in one or two districts while giving the GOP a majority in the rest. The result is a gross imbalance of legislative power favoring the minority. The main target was the swing states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Virginia. Gerrymandering is an institution as old as the nation itself. It is a powerful tool for undermining democracy. When you have an all red state legislature and governor in a basically Dem majority state, they can steam roll all the most extreme goals of the right wing and alter the process and there the majority become helpless to stop them.It was clear one of the main targets were the unions as the only strong organization the working class had and that the Dems had. Break the unions and the path is clear to complete dominance of the plutocrats and their fundamentalist allies and dupes.How is this trend going to be reversed and when?

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#92

Post by Plutodog »

Rachel did a segment last week on how the GOP gained control of state legislatures and gerrymandered state and congressional districts putting all the urban dems together in one or two districts while giving the GOP a majority in the rest. The result is a gross imbalance of legislative power favoring the minority. The main target was the swing states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Virginia. Gerrymandering is an institution as old as the nation itself. It is a powerful tool for undermining democracy. When you have an all red state legislature and governor in a basically Dem majority state, they can steam roll all the most extreme goals of the right wing and alter the process and there the majority become helpless to stop them.It was clear one of the main targets were the unions as the only strong organization the working class had and that the Dems had. Break the unions and the path is clear to complete dominance of the plutocrats and their fundamentalist allies and dupes.How is this trend going to be reversed and when?It will take the workers standing up and standing together for themselves. As it did in times past. Unfortunately, where skulduggery doesn't do it for the powers that be under the Other Golden Rule, they're not above violence, whether or not the workers act peacefully. So I have to worry for the workers and our future.
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#93

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

Sen Jeff Merkley (D-OR) spoke on the Senate floor Thursday Dec 20 about the history of filibusters. He also described how they are now regularly used by the minority as a tactic for paralyzing the Senate into inaction as opposed to furthering discussion on a particular subject.Merkley's speech is not a short one (starts at 08:42:00; ends at 09:21:33) but it is one I recommend all here view. I thought he made a very good case why reform is needed.[/break1]senate.gov/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=441]http://floor.senate.gov/MediaPlayer.php ... lip_id=441

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#94

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

The filibuster rules are not going to be modified today. We will have to wait a while.Although rules changes that only require a simple majority are supposed to be taken up on the first day of the session -- occurring on Thursday -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, is putting that off until Jan. 22, the day after President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech.How can Reid do that? Simply by recessing the legislative day on Thursday until Jan. 22 instead of adjourning while lawmakers flock back to their states (or head off to other locales). That means that, in Senate parlance, the "legislative day" will last for at least 19 calendar days.[/break1]oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2013/01/merkleys_filibuster_reform_fig.html]http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.s ... m_fig.htmlI'm disappointed Sen Merkley's proposal wasn't voted on today. The Levin-McCain proposal is too weak IMHO and I hope it is not the one implemented. Hopefully the threat of the "Constitutional Option" will convince Senate Republicans change is coming like it or not.If Reid used the nuclear option, which proponents call the “Constitutional option,” he could change the Senate’s filibuster rules with a simple majority vote. But it’s a controversial tactic that has never been actually employed to change Senate rules. The threat of its use has motivated the minority party to broker compromises in the past. [/break1]com/homenews/senate/275271-reid-will-postpone-filibuster-reform-until-late-january]http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/2752 ... te-january

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#95

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

Senators Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Tom Harkin and Frank Lautenberg each introduced a resolution for filibuster reform Thursday. Merkley's resolution appears to be the same as per his proposal that was linked earlier in this thread. Senate Republicans are apparently hoping the McCain-Levin proposal will appeal to some Senators who have been there awhile and are reluctant to change.“We have the power to change the Senate from being a graveyard for good ideas to an institution that can respond effectively to the challenges facing our nation,” Udall said in a statement. “Our proposal is simple, limited and fair. We make reasonable changes to nominations and conference committees and do away with the status quo of stealth and silent filibusters that prevents the Senate from getting its work done.” “The filibuster, once used only on issues of personal principle, is now used regularly as an instrument of partisan politics,” Merkley said. “It hurts our ability to take on the big challenges we face as Americans. And we need to fix it. We must put an end to the secret, silent filibuster that is haunting the Senate.” Levin has co-sponsored a plan with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would make it easier for the majority leader to proceed to new business, send a Senate-passed bill to conference and approve executive- and judicial-branch nominees. But it would not require senators to actively hold the floor to wield a filibuster.[/break1]com/homenews/senate/275553-udall-merkley-and-harkin-unveil-resolution-to-overhaul-filibuster-rule]http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/2755 ... uster-rule
Edit: The texts for S Res 4 (Udall), S Res 5 (Harkin), S Res 6 (Merkley) and S Res 7 (Lautenberg) are not available yet from Thomas.[/break1]senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/b_three_sections_with_teasers/active_leg_page.htm]http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legisl ... g_page.htm

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#96

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

The texts for S Res 4 (T Udall), S Res 5 (Harkin), S Res 6 (Merkley) and S Res 7 (Lautenberg) are now available from Thomas. All 4 will hopefully be approved when the Senate convenes Jan 22.[/break1]senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/b_three_sections_with_teasers/active_leg_page.htm]http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legisl ... g_page.htm

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#97

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

The Senate reconvenes at 10:00am EST tomorrow. After morning business the Senate will continue with its first legislative day. It shouldn't be long before we know if there will be any changes to the filibuster rules and if so, what.I'm hoping Sen Reid remembers his comments about how right Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley were 2 years ago and how wrong he and a few other Democratic Senators were by not taking Udall's and Merkley's advice and amending the filibuster rules when they had the opportunity.Originally posted Nov 30, 2012.http://www.thefogbow.com/forum/viewtopi ... 9853Making a mistake once is forgivable; making the same mistake additional times is not.

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#98

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

Almost like the definition of insanity.Or, as President Bush saidFool me once -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again.

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#99

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

Almost like the definition of insanity.Or, as President Bush saidFool me once -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again.I'm fearful Sen Reid may be more concerned with passing a bipartisan reform proposal rather than solving the problem.On the question of Senate rules, which are due to be the first item for action when the chamber returns Jan. 22, Reid offered suggestions that could form the framework for a deal with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. But his proposals would fall short of what Democratic advocates and outside groups have pushed for. Democrats have argued that Republicans have forced them to file cloture, or a motion to cut off debate, on too many pieces of legislation, resulting in bills being either blocked or delayed because of the time-consuming nature of the cloture process.[/break1]rollcall.com/news/reid_downplays_chances_for_assault_gun_ban_filibuster_changes-220713-1.html]http://www.rollcall.com/news/reid_downp ... 713-1.htmlAdditional info is available at the following link.[/break1]dailykos.com/story/2013/01/17/1179813/-Reid-considering-more-modest-filibuster-reform-nbsp-plan]http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/1 ... -nbsp-plan

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#100

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

Sen. Reid's misplaced homage to a quaint fantasy of comity and cordiality in the Senate is mystifying based on Republican intransigence over the last 4 years. If Sen. Reid does not do away with the filibuster he no longer deserves to be the majority leader. Sen. Schumer knows what to do.

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