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Is the Senate 'broken'?

By Ben Pershing
Is the Senate "broken"? One Democratic leader made clear Tuesday that he believes the answer is yes, while another begged to differ.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) added his voice to the growing number of Democrats frustrated by the inaction of the Senate, particularly the chamber's inability to move major legislation such as health-care reform because of the need for a 60-vote supermajority. In a speech Tuesday at the National Press Club, according to Roll Call's account, Hoyer said: "It's one thing to have a considered process. It's another thing to have a broken process. Many of us believe the Senate process is broken, and when I say 'many of us,' I speak for many members of the United States Senate as well."

A few hours later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was asked at a press conference to respond to Hoyer's comment. And while Reid has complained of the GOP's alleged obstructionism on a near-daily basis, on Tuesday he took the tack of defending the institution:

If you go back to the history, you'll find that ... the founding fathers created a very unique legislature. We have a bicameral legislature. This was unheard of before the founding fathers did this. One of the reasons they did is to build in competition between the chambers, so my friend Steny. ... I have great affection for Steny. But you could go back over the two-and-a-third centuries we've been a country, and House leaders have been saying this about the Senate from the very beginning. So I could give you a few comments about how I feel about the House, but I won't.

Perhaps so he wouldn't say more on the subject, Reid then ended the press conference.

By Ben Pershing  |  January 26, 2010; 3:22 PM ET
Categories:  Capitol Briefing  
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These greedy Democrats want more and more power and control. Immediately after Scott Brown won the Democrat's sacred cow seat, they began huddling together like a bunch of Chicago thugs to find a way to circumvent the loss of their mighty majority of 60 votes. The filibuster, a Congressional Privilege, to keep out bills that are unsuitable from becoming law without recourse, was their first attempt to keep total control of every decision made under this administration. They don't get it yet, it won't work because the people are wide awake and watching them like hawks.

The Democrats have become out of control.

Posted by: prossers7 | January 26, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

During my childhood, my family used to take me to the circus every chance they got. Now when I see the Senate in session it reminds me of when the VW would pull up in the center ring, they would open a door and clowns would come piling out, and they would ask how many clowns can you get in a VW. I'm sure that the Senators carry a lot more baggage than a clown would. Not to mention the hot air that they are stuffed with.

Posted by: racam | January 26, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

So will the media treat this with as much breathless reporting as they did the ACORN scandal? I'm betting they won't...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 26, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Is the Senate 'broken'? The under statement of the year. Unbelievably irrelevant to the concerns of those who sent them there.

All the king horses and all the kings men cant put this "Senate" to work ever again. That's is the reality. But of course, who has the tools to say enuf ?

Posted by: Victoria5 | January 26, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Is the Senate 'broken'? With a what, -60% approval rate, does this really need to be asked?

Posted by: gjconely | January 26, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

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