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1 comments | Monday, December 17, 2007

This from an NYT article:
The filibuster may be well established in the popular consciousness — think of long-winded senators speechifying for days. But because modern Senate rules allow lawmakers to avoid the spectacle of pontificating by merely threatening the act, filibusters and the efforts to overcome them are being used more frequently, and on more issues, than at any other point in history.

So far in this first year of the 110th Congress, there have been 72 motions to stop filibusters, most on the Iraq war but also on routine issues like reauthorizing Amtrak funding. There were 68 such motions in the full two years of the previous Congress, 53 in 1987-88 and 23 in 1977-78. In 1967-68, there were 5 such votes, one of them on a plan to amend cloture itself, which failed.

For policy making, this is the legislative equivalent of gum on a shoe.

It has produced a numbing cycle of Washington futility: House Democrats pass a bill, but Senate Democrats, facing a filibuster by the Republican minority, fail to get the 60 votes needed to end debate. Little wonder that approval ratings of Congress stink these days.

It's unbelievable the leeway the Democrats give the Republicans. We're all waiting for the moment when the Dems actually make the Republicans filibuster, rather than just saying they've filibustered and the Democrats honoring that.

1 Comments:

Blogger Jolly Roger said...

Oh no, the dems can't filibuster spy bills, or blank-check Iraq War funding-but it's just fine to let something like SCHIP get filibustered to death.

I cannot wait for "Stepnfetchit" Reid to get knocked off his petard.

8:22 AM

 

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