US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

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Joseph Robidoux III
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#1

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

Sen Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is proposing a series of [/break1]washingtonpost.com/plum-line/Senate%20Procedures%20Reform%20Memo.pdf]reforms designed to prevent the Senate from being held hostage by a very small minority while still offering the minority party their right to object and to add amendments. Merkley's proposal basically shifts the burden from the majority party having to jump through hoops to end a filibuster to the minority party attempting to initiate one.This spring, Harry Reid caused a stir when he said he’d finally seen the light on the need for real reform. Republicans are skeptical that Reid is serious about changing the filibuster, and there’s some grounds for that skepticism. However, it’s also possible that the unprecedented GOP obstructionism of the last four years may have persuaded Reid, as David Dayen put it recently, that the Senate has become a “super majority institution” that is “governed by a tyranny of the minority” and is “horrendously broken.”[/break1]washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/prospects-brighten-for-filibuster-reform/2012/10/31/a1ceead0-238b-11e2-ac85-e669876c6a24_blog.html]http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plu ... _blog.htmlSen Reid ended the Senate's tradition of secret holds last year and apparently has learned more changes are needed.

hitch
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#2

Post by hitch »

Merkley's proposal seems well reasoned and fair. I hope it goes through; filibuster reform is long overdue. I'll definitely be contacting my two senators about supporting these changes.I also liked this his suggestion regarding segregation of senators#8) Decrease the Segregation of MembersMembers of the Senate are segregated by party. They sit on different sides of the aisle in the Senate chamber. They sit on opposite sides of the room in committees. They caucus separately. Even the pages on the floor are designated as “Democratic” pages or “Republican” pages.These practices may not have been significant in the past when senators lived in Washington and socialized on evenings and weekends. But now senators work evenings and then fly home, greatly diminishing the time for informal interactions with each other.The segregation of the senators by parties unnecessarily deepens the partisan divide and we should end it. It is worth observing, by the way, that many state legislatures do not practice such segregation, facilitating the forging of informal connections between members of different parties.Here are three specific suggestions:1. Bolt down the desks in the Senate chamber permanently – fifty on each side -- and allow senators to choose desks anywhere they want on the floor among those available.2. End the segregation of senators in committee meetings. One committee, Homeland Security, has already done this.3. End the designation of pages by party.Simple, yet a good step towards fostering congeniality among Senators.

Joseph Robidoux III
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#3

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

Sen Reid announced there will be some changes proposed at the beginning of Congress.All of this will come to a head at the beginning of next Congress and could require Reid to employ a circuitous path to change the rules by 51 votes, rather than a two-thirds majority. The GOP calls that tactic “the nuclear option.”“I think that the rules have been abused and that we’re going to work to change them,” Reid said. “We’re not going to do away with the filibuster, but we’re going to make the Senate a more meaningful place, we’re going to make it so that we can get things done.”[/break1]politico.com/news/stories/1112/83514_Page2.html]http://www.politico.com/news/stories/11 ... Page2.htmlTake a WAG who won't be happy.Sekrit Stuffs!
DeMint and Paul will probably squeal the loudest with Lee, McConnell and Grassley mumbling in the background.

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#4

Post by Adrianinflorida »

Fuck 'em. If Harry can pull this off it will make The Senate relevent for Dems AND Repubs for the future. Fixing thebfillibuster maybhelp Dems short term, but at some point, the GOP may take control again, and it could benefit them.

A Legal Lohengrin
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#5

Post by A Legal Lohengrin »

My simple filibuster reform.Just go back to the system where some asshat had to get up and actually talk all that time.Just saying you're going to filibuster being enough to gum up the proceedings is utter bullshit. Make them actually do it.Then make sure there are cameras there at all times.With all the insane garbage that comes out of the mouths of these morons every time they speak for even a few minutes, they'd manage to wreck any chance for reelection in a couple hours tops.

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Whatever4
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#6

Post by Whatever4 »

^^^^^^^ That one.
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Slarti the White
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#7

Post by Slarti the White »

I've long thought that what LoH proposed is a great solution. I'd make it so that if a cloture vote is called (and fails) then the filibuster can only be sustained by someone holding the floor, but doing away with the procedural filibuster entirely is fine by me...
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esseff44
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#8

Post by esseff44 »

What Loh said. Make them do it the old-fashioned way. Make them bring their little urinals with them to the floor like in the old days.

MaineSkeptic
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#9

Post by MaineSkeptic »

What Loh said. Make them do it the old-fashioned way. Make them bring their little urinals with them to the floor like in the old days.Is that Brian Lamb I hear screaming?

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esseff44
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#10

Post by esseff44 »

The filibuster itself is a good thing to keep and to have in the tool box of a senator. The Senate tends to be slow moving and follows the old metaphor of being the 'cooling saucer' for legislation. The time when panic sets in and there's a rush to pass unwise things usually have to do with war.Senator Mike Gravel was an iconoclastic, some say loose cannon, senator who was vehemently anti-war. He tried and failed to use the filibuster to end the draft earlier. [/break1]wikipedia.org/wiki/Senator_Mike_Gravel]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senator_Mike_GravelThere's a YouTube of his describing the tale of the his reading the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record before the NYTimes was waiting for a court decision to allow them to publish them. It's not a filibuster but close to it. It does show the physical strain it puts one under to maintain a filibuster.Warning: It's a little hard to watch.[/break1]youtube.com/watch?v=xBrNFBabayo]

Joseph Robidoux III
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#11

Post by Joseph Robidoux III »

My simple filibuster reform.Just go back to the system where some asshat had to get up and actually talk all that time.Just saying you're going to filibuster being enough to gum up the proceedings is utter bullshit. Make them actually do it.Then make sure there are cameras there at all times.With all the insane garbage that comes out of the mouths of these morons every time they speak for even a few minutes, they'd manage to wreck any chance for reelection in a couple hours tops.Sen Merkley's proposal (linked in the OP) would require something similar to what you suggested.Require a specific number of Senators -- I suggest five for the first 24 hours, 10 for the second 24 hours, and 20 thereafter -- to be on the floor to sustain the filibuster. This would be required even during quorum calls. At any point, a member could call for a count of the senators on the floor who stand in opposition to the regular order, and if the count falls below the required level, the regular order prevails and a majority vote is held.The Sergeant-at-arms bars the doors and the Clerk takes a count. If a sufficient number of Senators are not present before the doors are barred (nobody can enter), the filibuster is over. If they have the numbers it continues.Merkley's key is quite simple.It is essential, however, that proposals for reforming the filibuster be aimed at increasing the deliberative process and not at diminishing the right or ability of the minority party to participate. With every idea, members of the majority should ask: Would the proposal, when we are in the minority down the road, be one we could live with?

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esseff44
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#12

Post by esseff44 »

Who are the five mostly likely Republicans to side with Dems on certain issues so as to stave of a filibuster threat?Here's a proposed list:[/break1]yahoo.com/5-gop-senators-most-likely-democrats-210224220--politics.html]http://news.yahoo.com/5-gop-senators-mo ... itics.htmlWhat's the word on Arizona. I heard noises that Carmona might take back his concession since so many votes remain uncounted. Updates? Lots of votes still uncounted.That would mean Dems would need to round up only four 'Pub votes Carmona slides into home plate.

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Plutodog
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#13

Post by Plutodog »

Slightly off-topic but some of the hypocrisy that may be a hurdle to filibuster reform:





Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) infuriated Republicans during the campaign with his harsh partisan attacks and now faces the delicate task of mending his relationship with the GOP.





Some Republicans say Reid poisoned his relationship with their party by waging controversial attacks against GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. They were most angered by Reid’s charge that Romney had not paid taxes in ten years, attributing the information to an anonymous source.





"I do think he lost more credibility with Republicans because of his aggressive comments during the campaign,” said Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist and former leadership aide who served in the Senate and House.





“The make-up of the Senate is almost the same and I think Sen. Reid is likely to produce the same type of gridlock he did before because of his unusually partisan stance," Bonjean added.(bold added) -- the lying sacks o' shit.





[/break1]com/homenews/senate/269123-reid-faces-task-of-mending-fences-with-gop-after-campaign-attacks]http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/2691 ... gn-attacks
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A Legal Lohengrin
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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#14

Post by A Legal Lohengrin »

Slightly off-topic but some of the hypocrisy that may be a hurdle to filibuster reform:Actually, it's an indication that it is necessary, and it only requires a majority. They do not need a single Republican vote to refuse to re-adopt the old Senate rules again, and could, without constitutional difficulty, abolish and rewrite them entirely.There is no constitutional basis for the filibuster, and there is certainly no basis whatsoever in history for the procedural filibuster. The filibuster is a side effect of the deliberate difficulty in shutting down debate in the Senate. Since it is solely a byproduct of protecting that right, it should require its exercise.Other than tradition, though, the filibuster itself is not constitutionally necessary. Standard parliamentary procedure would be to operate by majority vote.

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US Senate Filibuster Reform Proposed

#15

Post by Patagoniagirl »

My simple filibuster reform.Just go back to the system where some asshat had to get up and actually talk all that time.Just saying you're going to filibuster being enough to gum up the proceedings is utter bullshit. Make them actually do it.Then make sure there are cameras there at all times.With all the insane garbage that comes out of the mouths of these morons every time they speak for even a few minutes, they'd manage to wreck any chance for reelection in a couple hours tops.YUP. Requiring a little effort to gum up the works might go a long way towards discouraging such antics. No one even knows what a real filibuster is anymore, or possibly they don't realise at the moment it simply means saying filibuster. What assholes are some who can claim they filibustered and many think it is Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? Civics and government classes in school anyone?

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#16

Post by Plutodog »

Slightly off-topic but some of the hypocrisy that may be a hurdle to filibuster reform:Actually, it's an indication that it is necessary, and it only requires a majority. They do not need a single Republican vote to refuse to re-adopt the old Senate rules again, and could, without constitutional difficulty, abolish and rewrite them entirely.There is no constitutional basis for the filibuster, and there is certainly no basis whatsoever in history for the procedural filibuster. The filibuster is a side effect of the deliberate difficulty in shutting down debate in the Senate. Since it is solely a byproduct of protecting that right, it should require its exercise.Other than tradition, though, the filibuster itself is not constitutionally necessary. Standard parliamentary procedure would be to operate by majority vote.Oh, I know Loh. I just know how the other side will label the whole reform effort and how the press will run with that. What I don't know is whether the Dems (including Harry) will have the rocks to push through anyways.
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#17

Post by MaineSkeptic »

Oh, I know Loh. I just know how the other side will label the whole reform effort and how the press will run with that. What I don't know is whether the Dems (including Harry) will have the rocks to push through anyways.One of the big risks is that the House is still in Republican hands. If their ability to block Senate bills is weakened, that might hurt any possibility of bipartisanship in the House that may exist, though we'll have a better idea in a few weeks how hopeful to be about that.

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#18

Post by Plutodog »

Oh, I know Loh. I just know how the other side will label the whole reform effort and how the press will run with that. What I don't know is whether the Dems (including Harry) will have the rocks to push through anyways.One of the big risks is that the House is still in Republican hands. If their ability to block Senate bills is weakened, that might hurt any possibility of bipartisanship in the House that may exist, though we'll have a better idea in a few weeks how hopeful to be about that.If the Reepubs hadn't demonstrated that they have no intention of being at all judicious about when they use the filibuster, AND if it weren't obvious that they will outlaw the filibuster whenever they come back to power, that might worry me some.But it don't. Reepubs have repeatedly shown their hand, as it were and we're foolish if we don't believe them. The filibuster as a stopgap against the very occasional crazy is dead, dead, DEAD.
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#19

Post by A Legal Lohengrin »

Oh, I know Loh. I just know how the other side will label the whole reform effort and how the press will run with that. What I don't know is whether the Dems (including Harry) will have the rocks to push through anyways.One of the big risks is that the House is still in Republican hands. If their ability to block Senate bills is weakened, that might hurt any possibility of bipartisanship in the House that may exist, though we'll have a better idea in a few weeks how hopeful to be about that.Unlike Senators, House members are answerable to a specific constituency. If they don't bring home the bacon, they go home. Thus, they can often be bribed with pork and committee seats and other things that let them look good at home. Further, what possibility of bipartisanship? I can't see it getting any worse there.

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#20

Post by MaineSkeptic »

Further, what possibility of bipartisanship? I can't see it getting any worse there.I'm skeptical too. I think it's a long shot.But the Repubs are scrambling to regain their foothold after the election. Some are retreating from the Norquist pledge. Polling show overwhelmingly that the public want more bipartisan cooperation, and that more blame the Rs than the Ds for the lack of it.Where will it lead? No one knows. But I'm afraid that the weakening of the filibuster rule, at least this early in the game, would be too easily portrayed as a provocation.

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#21

Post by A Legal Lohengrin »

Where will it lead? No one knows. But I'm afraid that the weakening of the filibuster rule, at least this early in the game, would be too easily portrayed as a provocation.What good does the procedural filibuster do? It's evil.

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#22

Post by MaineSkeptic »

Where will it lead? No one knows. But I'm afraid that the weakening of the filibuster rule, at least this early in the game, would be too easily portrayed as a provocation.What good does the procedural filibuster do? It's evil.LOL, no disagreement there. But at this point I'm thinking about Realpolitik, and while I would agree with the move, my feeling is that the timing right now is premature.

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#23

Post by kate520 »

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) infuriated Republicans during the campaign with his harsh partisan attacksWhat a bunch of fookin' babies. Have they never listened to their side?
DEFEND DEMOCRACY

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#24

Post by Plutodog »

Where will it lead? No one knows. But I'm afraid that the weakening of the filibuster rule, at least this early in the game, would be too easily portrayed as a provocation.What good does the procedural filibuster do? It's evil.LOL, no disagreement there. But at this point I'm thinking about Realpolitik, and while I would agree with the move, my feeling is that the timing right now is premature.Premature? I'm thinking waaaaay long overdue. And no matter when it happened (and remember procedurally, it's more secure at the beginning of a congress), the Reepubs will denounce it as a provocation. WHENEVER it happens. We can't win waiting for a more better time, IMO. No such thing, IMO.
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A Legal Lohengrin
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#25

Post by A Legal Lohengrin »

LOL, no disagreement there. But at this point I'm thinking about Realpolitik, and while I would agree with the move, my feeling is that the timing right now is premature.I couldn't disagree more. It may be impossible to do at any time in the future. If it isn't now, we're stuck with it forever.

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