Posts tagged filibuster

Reid Has 51 Votes to Change Filibuster, Advocates Say

Last year, Senators could anonymously hold (“filibuster”) a bill by phone. Looks like some kind of filibuster reform is likely.

If you want more insight on filibuster reform — and if you don’t, then what the hell is wrong with you?! — PoliticalProf has a post on it that I missed when it ran last week. Read it. It’s good.

Reid’s Options for Filibuster Reform

According to Politico, some type of filibuster reform is a near certainty for the Congressional session that begins next year:

Here’s what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is considering: banning filibusters used to prevent debate from even starting and House-Senate conference committees from ever meeting. He also may make filibusters become actual filibusters — to force senators to carry out the nonstop, talkathon sessions.

Republicans are threatening even greater retaliation if Reid uses a move rarely used by Senate majorities: changing the chamber’s precedent by 51 votes, rather than the usual 67 votes it takes to overhaul the rules.

The Hill describes the latter option thusly:

Under the [constitutional] option, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) would send to the Senate desk a resolution changing the rules and ask for it to be adopted immediately. The parliamentarian would rule the request out of order and then the presiding chair — likely Vice President Biden — would affirm or ignore the parliamentarian’s ruling.

The Senate could then uphold Reid’s move to change the rules with a simple majority vote.

Reid should go ahead and use the constitutional option to prevent any filibustering at all for awhile. But I think he’ll opt for the tepid options instead. Eliminating the option to filibuster altogether in the Senate would be a pretty epic fuck-you to Republicans, but in my estimation it would not materially impact actual policy. And policy, not politics, is what we’re all concerned with around here, right?