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Reid’s rubber stamp

February 1, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid already is well on his way to making that house of Congress a rubber stamp for whatever he, often at the behest of President Barack Obama, wants to do....

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Feb-01-13 10:26 AM

As the Journal only tells the side of the story it feels is relevant let’s have some fact checking. According to Ezra Klein of the Washington Post the specific changes aren't particularly dramatic; Reid is basically proposing two things: First, no more filibusters on the motion to move to debate a bill. Second, if you want to filibuster a bill, you have to actually take the floor of the Senate and speak. The changes, in other words, end quiet filibusters, in which a bill is killed by a 60-vote challenge even though there’s no debate on a bill. The Founding Fathers explicitly rejected designing the Congress around a supermajority requirement. Alexander Hamilton savaged the idea of a supermajority Congress, writing that “it’s real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of government and to substitute the pleasure, caprice or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent or corrupt junta, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority.”

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Feb-01-13 11:01 AM

thats funny that you would try to make Reid look like a good guy in this , it was him and his party that brought this rule into effect when they were the minority. Hipocrosy!

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Feb-01-13 11:32 AM

Reid wouldn't be pushing this if he were the minority leader. And, if the Republicans were trying to push for it the Democrats would be screaming foul. Why don't both sides just compromise every now and then and there would be no need to change the fillibutser rules.

I wouldn't consider Ezra Klein to be an impartial source to be considered in a claim of "fact checking".

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Feb-01-13 9:02 PM

Most every charge of hypocrisy that can be leveled at Reid can also be leveled at McConnell. The filibuster was not designed by the founding fathers, and its use today is not in any way comparable to its use 50 years ago. The biggest problem with McConnell’s statements were not what he said so much as what he left out; namely, the way the filibuster has gone from a rarely invoked minority protection to a constantly wielded supermajority requirement. Senate whip, McConnell was a key player in the GOP’s 2005 effort to change the filibuster rules using, you guessed it, 51 votes. As he said at the time, “This is not the first time a minority of Senators has upset a Senate tradition or practice, and the current Senate majority intends to do what the majority in the Senate has often done–use its constitutional authority under article I, section 5, to reform Senate procedure by a simple majority vote.” Hypocrisy it seems is found in abundance throughout the Senate.

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Feb-02-13 3:47 PM

Let's hear it for those infallible Founding Fathers one more time.

Except, the filibuster didn't really come into being until the early 1840's, long after the founders were below ground.

The provision has been amended with, and tinkered with, multiple times, so don't go getting all warm in your britches about the fiddling going on now.

Filibusters serve a purpose, but not as used by the minority party the past decade or so.

Hooray for Harry!

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