How to filibuster your own bill

I think that Mitch McConnell has just helped out the Senators who are looking to reform the Senate rules.

This is from the Washington Post

In a bit of parliamentary squabbling common only to the United States Senate, the chamber will not be voting Thursday on President Obama’s proposal to largely shift responsibility for raising the debt ceiling from Congress to the White House.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) proposed an immediate vote on the idea Thursday morning, as a way to highlight potential Democratic unease with the idea.

This afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called that bluff, asking to proceed to immediate vote on the measure. But he asked for an up-or-down vote, allowing the Senate to skip to a final vote by which the measure could be approved on a simple 51-vote majority.

McConnell countered the measure should require a 60-vote majority, as most votes do in the Senate.

“What we’re talking about here is a perpetual debt ceiling grant, in effect, to the president. Matters of this level of controversy always require 60 votes,” McConnell said.

Reid objected to the 60-vote threshold. “What we have here is a case of Republicans here in the Senate once again not taking yes for an answer,” Reid said. “Now the Republican leader objects to his own idea. So I guess we have a filibuster of his own bill.”

Go, Mitch!

It really is time to go back to majority votes except on treaties.

Photograph:  AP

2 thoughts on “How to filibuster your own bill

  1. I argue in my essay that if the U.S. Senate is to represent govenments, then there is a basis for needing a supermajority, for otherwise we would have federal encroachment on the states. But this has already happened, and the senators are elected rather than the state leaders themselves or their delegates, in which case as the Senate is presently situated the filibuster should be eliminated rather than merely made slightly more difficult. See http://www.thewordenreport.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-us-senates-filibuster-minoritys-bomb.html at the Worden Report.

    • I would agree about eliminating it all together with some agreement on minority amendments is best, but unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. I think we will be lucky if any changes are made.

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