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Reid promises filibuster reform

reidbuster.jpg"The filibuster has been abused," Sen. Harry Reid said at a reporter's briefing this afternoon. "But next Congress, we are going to take a look at it. And we're going to make some changes in it.”

Reid wasn't very clear about what changes he'd make, or how he'd make them. But Reid (and, in separate comments, Sen. Debbie Stabenow) spoke much more about the time that filibusters consume than the supermajority requirement they impose. "I file cloture" -- the motion to end a filibuster -- "to move to discuss the bill on Monday," Reid explained. "That takes two days to ripen. We don't have a vote till Wednesday. Once that's done, Republicans have 30 hours to do nothing. After the 30 hours is up, you're on the bill. If there's no amendment offered" -- remember, amendments can be filibustered, too -- "you file cloture to move to the vote. It takes two days and then another 30 hours. So that's 60 hours plus four days to vote on the bill. That happened 67 times last year." You do the math.

Stabenow made a similar point to explain why there are 83 nominees pending before the body. It's not that these nominees don't have the votes, she argued. It's that the Senate doesn't have the time to spend a week waiting for the cloture motions that would allow each one a vote. "If we do," Stabenow said, "we won't have time to do anything else."

Reid has not traditionally been a friend of Senate reform. Recently, he poured cold water on the idea of changing the rules by saying that rule changes require 67 votes, which Democrats certainly cannot muster. But as Huffington Post's Sam Stein notes, Reid's pointed mention of the "next Congress" might be important here. "Changing the rules at the beginning of the 112th Congress will require the chair to declare the Senate is in a new session and can legally draft new rules," explains Stein. "That ruling would be made by Vice President Joe Biden, who has spoken out against the current abuse of the filibuster. The ruling can be appealed, but that appeal can be defeated with a simple majority vote."

This interpretation was given further force when Sen. Chuck Schumer spoke later in the session. "My committee, the Rules Committee, is going to look at this," he said. And one of the angles they plan to explore is that "the Constitutional right of the Senate to make its own rules supersedes the two-thirds rule, but only when we write new rules at the beginning of each Congress."

I asked Schumer whether there was a process ongoing to develop a single strategy to change the filibuster. "This is something we're very serious about," he replied. "It's not unanimous in the caucus, but the vast majority of the caucus is interested in seeing if there's a way to undo, modify, or lessen our filibuster rule."

For now, the process seems to be proceeding from the premise that Senate Democrats are fed up with the filibuster. "In baseball," Reid said in a clipped tone, "they used to have the spitball. It originally was used with discretion. But then the ball got wetter and wetter and wetter. So soon, they outlawed the spitball." The same, he said, had happened to the four-corner offense in basketball. "And just the way the spitball was abused in baseball and the four-corner offense was abused in basketball," Reid said, "Republicans have abused the filibuster."

Photo credit: Bloomberg

By Ezra Klein  |  March 10, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: The state-based single payer strategy

Comments

As a conservative, I would fully support Democrat's move to invoke the constitutional option to remove the 60-vote requirement for filibuster beginning the beginning of the 112th Congress ( if Dem's still hold the majority by then ). This way, the next time Republicans take over the presidency and both houses of Congress, perhaps as early as 2012, we may repeal and undo all left-wing reforms and progresses, by converting all social security to private savings accounts, privatize all public schools, convert Medicare and Medicaid to health savings accounts, repeal the whole tax code and replace it by a flat tax, etc.

Likewise, the next time liberals take over the presidency and both houses of congress again, they may do the reverse, and we conservatives shall do the same when we take over.

Posted by: ng_kar_yan | March 10, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to note is that recent history shows that it is highly unlikely that Republicans may ever get a 60-seat majority in the Senate as the Democrats could. So repealing the 60-vote cloture requirements actually benefits Republicans more than the Democrats

Posted by: ng_kar_yan | March 10, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

They might want to leave well enough alone considering what's happening now is due to the last set of reforms. But I don't think Harry Reid will be around to do anything anyway.

Posted by: ronjaboy | March 10, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes, ng_kar_yan, the Republicans have shown shuch a HUGE appetite for actually moving to privatize SS, end Medicare, etc., as opposed to just using it as a way to stick their fingers into the highly agitated limbic brains of their 'base', who, as their finance chair noted, are best activated by visceral fear.

It actually seems that the Republithugs may have finally pushed the Senate Dems so far that they may be willing to check their balls out of storage and use them for a change.

Posted by: exgovgirl | March 10, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Please. Reid won't be around for the next congress and whoever takes his place will likely bow to institutional tradition. Take whatever Reid says as a lame-duck Senate leader fighting for his electoral life.

Words mean nothing.

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 10, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I agree with him; the rules of the Senate were written when communication was difficult and time consuming. The rules of debate need to be updated with the recent advances of communication in mind.

I am absolutely opposed to repealing the filibuster rule. Do you realize how much chaos would be created if every program created in 4 or 8 years would be repealed just a quickly? There would be no evolution of programs; just their swift death before the benefits would be realized.The federal government would become more dysfunctional and inept than ever before.

In his first speech Obama stated that 80% of health care reform could be agreed to on both sides of the aisle. That agreement has been drowned out by constant shouts of "Socialism" and "The Party of No" - battle cries of the pundits and extremists of each party. Has anyone ever thought that the system may be the solution to sudden, erratic policy shifts that arise every few years?

Posted by: HokiePokie | March 10, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

ONLY TIME WILL TELL IF HARRY REID IS AROUND FOR THE NEXT SESSION. IT IS OBVIOUS TO MANY THAT IF OBAMA STOPS SHORT HARRY WILL BREAK HIS NOSE. IT IS ONE THING TO BE A STRONG LEADER. IT IS ANOTHER TO BE A STUPID LEADER. REID COULD HAVE ACCOMPLISHED MUCH MORE IF HE HAD BEEN WILLING TO LISTEN ONCE IN A WHILE INSTEAD OF TRYING TO JAM THINGS DOWN THE REPUBS. THROATS. UNFORTUNATELY PELOSI MAY STILL BE AROUND UNLESS ONE OF HER SKIN GRAFTS IS SO TIGHT IT CHOKES HER VOICE OFF. THE DEMS CAN CERTAINLY BE PROUD OF OBAMA, RIED AND PELOSI WITH BIDEN IN THE WINGS. GIVE ME BUSH AND ROVE ANY DAY.

Posted by: MALBENNET | March 10, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Geez, Klein, why don't you just give Harry Reid a blow job and be done with it?

Posted by: FridayKnight | March 10, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"we may repeal and undo all left-wing reforms and progresses, by converting all social security to private savings accounts, privatize all public schools, convert Medicare and Medicaid to health savings accounts, repeal the whole tax code and replace it by a flat tax, etc."

YES! That's what I've been arguing for years now. Every other western democracy has a much, much better social safety net. That increases one's mobility, etc. That's all good -- and possible because they don't need 60 freaking votes to pass things. And, they have conservative parties too.

Now, if the GOP would tear down a hundred years of what little social safety net we have, they'd be unpopular for generations. The Dems would have the possibility to do things right (single payer, etc) rather than compromise for no reason.

And, the GOP would become infinitely more moderate once their rhetoric ("repeal the whole tax code!") would be tempered by political realities. Without the ability to deflect responsibility, they'd pay the price for their crazy-talk. And, they'd be more policy-minded, rather than basing policy proposals on what they think liberals would dislike ("privatize all public schools"!) Hopefully, it'd move us to a more accountable western European politics, not a "it's never my fault, it's never my responsibility" American politics too.

Posted by: Chris_ | March 10, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

yes and he promised a public option too.

Harry's going to be 0-2. Maybe Sue Lowden or Danny Tarkanian can take it up with the 112th Congress.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 10, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

There's a good bit of cynicism about filibuster reform in these comments....and I'm going to add to it!!!

I like Harry Reid, but he's a Senate fundamentalist. And I hope he really is fed up with the Republicans blocking all manner of important or even non-essential Senate business. I'm not holding my breath, however.

Posted by: zeppelin003 | March 10, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

One can only hope that Harry will watch whatever the next Congress does about the filibuster from outside the Senate, since I really hope the good citizens of Arizona send this jack-hole home in the next election.

Posted by: hill_marty | March 10, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The filibuster more frequently stymies liberal policy initiatives (anti-lynching laws, civil rights, health care) than it stymies conservative policy initiatives (drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve being the only notable time Republicans goals were stymied with it). Over the long term, the end of the filibuster would enable more liberal legislation than it would allow to be repealed.

The Republicans discovered a loophole where they could use the filibuster for everything. Like most loophole exploitations, you can only do that *once*, after which the loophole gets closed.

Conservatives have taken power in places like the UK and Canada with regularity, where they had absolute control of legislation. did they repeal their national health care systems? No, they did not. Did they repeal their social security systems? No.

I don't think there would have been any problems with respect to the filibuster if the Republicans pulled out all the stops on health care, but they overplayed their hand and used the filibuster for every single motion, appointment, and piece of legislation. You want to use the filibuster once a year and put on a big show? It would still be around if the Republicans had done that, but the job of the Senate is to function, not to be held up by imaginary filibuster motions.

Posted by: constans | March 10, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

*I really hope the good citizens of Arizona send this jack-hole home in the next election.*

The voters of Arizona don't get a say on that matter.

The Democrats have a terrible habit of choosing Senate leaders from non-Democratic states. They think it gives them more "moderate" cred and think it helps keep those seats in Democratic hands by allowing the senators to tell the voters, "if you keep me, our state will have more power in the Senate." This never works. It didn't work with Daschle and it isn't working with Reid. All it does is force the leaders to constantly cover their right flank in order to keep their mostly-Republican constituents happy instead of charging forth with the Democratic party agenda. It's a symptom of how to Democrats feel the need to compromise what they really want before they even show up at the negotiating table.

Posted by: constans | March 10, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

“The Sen­ate, how­ev­er, BEING A CONTINUING BODY, gives au­thor­i­ty to its com­mit­tees dur­ing the re­cess after the ex­pi­ra­tion of a Congress.” Mc­Grain v. Daugh­er­ty, 273 U.S. 135, 180 (1927).

If someone attempts the Senate-has-a-start-of-Session tactic, they also force committee appointments to be session-based. It's not going to happen... but it's enough of a carrot to lure some uninformed progressives towards a vote during the November election.

Posted by: rmgregory | March 10, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Our republic lasted 180 years without the current form of filibuster; we can problably survive some changes.

The filibuster used to be expensive of time and effort.. The last rules change made it too cheap - hence we have a bubble that's formed, and we need to let the air out of it.

Note that Reid said nothing of eliminating the filibuster - he seems to focus on the time it takes to end one. He's mainly talking about lowering the burden a filibuster imposes on the legislative process. I'd like to see something done also to modestly raise the cost of starting one - maybe giving up your mistress for the duration? Loosing access to the Senate Dining Room? ;-) More seriously, losing the right to offer amendments to the bill or motion if the filibuster fails?

Posted by: j2hess | March 10, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Funny, Ried thought the flibuster was a critical part of not "silencing the minority" when he was in it. Hypocrite!

Posted by: slainte1 | March 10, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Come the 112th Congress, Harry Reid is going to have as much of a say on Senate rules as I do.

If the threshold for cloture was lowered to 51, that would have no effect on the time delays that he is complaining about. Sounds to me like Democrats have no real plans here, just more hot air.

Posted by: JackIL08 | March 10, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the comment: "Congress, perhaps as early as 2012, we may repeal and undo all left-wing reforms and progresses, by converting all social security to private savings accounts, privatize all public schools, convert Medicare and Medicaid to health savings accounts, repeal the whole tax code and replace it by a flat tax, etc."

Most unlikely the GOP will have this opportunity before 2016 at the earliest. By that time the new Health Care Reform will be in effect for more than 3 years. By that time, the majority will realize that the reforms are good and the GOP would try to roll this back at their own peril.

Posted by: change-we-must | March 10, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh, this is rich. This will last until November when they are returned to the back of the closet where they belong.

BTW, what was the story the other day about how Harlem was rocked by black scandals?

Looks like John COnyer's wife is going to the can for 37 months.

Bribery.

Umm, Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson - are you paying attention?

Barry? Usually both sides of a bribe go to jail - unless its a sting.

Is that the meme, now? "Aw shucks, folks, let me be clear: I was jus trying to see if they would take the meoney - I didn't like actually expect they vote for all that taxpayer money."

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | March 10, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

*Funny, Ried thought the flibuster was a critical part of not "silencing the minority" when he was in it.*

The minority gets a say. It does not get a veto. When the filibuster was used to extend debate so that everyone gets a say and was occasionally used as a "veto," everyone was fine. When the loophole gets exploited and abused, it goes away. Some people don't really understand this, but the Democrats aren't getting rid of the filibuster. The Republicans are the ones getting rid of the filibuster.

Posted by: constans | March 10, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so 30 hours 67 times last year would be 2,010 hours. How many hours total was the Senate in session last year?

As a quick take, the maximum possible would be 24 hours a day for 365 days, for 8,760 hours. All things being fair, 40% of that time (3,504 hours) would be used by the Republican Caucus with the remaining 60% (5,256 hours) used by the Democratic Caucus.

Of course, Senators can't work 24x365, so we'd need to scale back based on time a quorum was actually present on the floor of the Senate. How many hours was an actual quorum actually present on the floor of the Senate last year?

Posted by: rmgregory | March 10, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Can the rules be changed so instead of 60 votes, they require 60% of population (as represented by the senators)? That would still provide protection from the majority doing something irrational and yet prevent the current nonsense of 30% or less of the country blocking the rest from taking any action.

Posted by: astella | March 10, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse


*I really hope the good citizens of Arizona send this jack-hole home in the next election.*

The voters of Arizona don't get a say on that matter.


Just to show how dumb and misinformed you all are. Reid is from NEVADA NOT ARIZONA.

Since you can get even that right, your opinion is not credible neither.

Posted by: Flyairbird | March 10, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"Please. Reid won't be around for the next congress and whoever takes his place will likely bow to institutional tradition."

It would probably be Dick Durbin, who opined recently that "the banks own this place" when referring to Congress. I hold out a sliver of hope that he gets the job and doesn't fall into line with the status quo. Still, anything's better than Reid.

Also, someone should remind @VirginiaConservative that there's really no room for him to throw stones in a house still occupied by David Vitter.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | March 10, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Change the fillibuster back to the real thing... staying on the floor, talking the whole time. Make it tougher to do.

Posted by: markandbeth92 | March 10, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"The filibuster has been abused, but next Congress, we are going to...make some changes to it."

A curious comment for someone who doesn't stand a snowball's chance of even being in the next Congress.

Posted by: superman32 | March 10, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The filibuster more frequently stymies liberal policy initiatives (anti-lynching laws, civil rights, health care) than it stymies conservative policy initiatives (drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve being the only notable time Republicans goals were stymied with it). Over the long term, the end of the filibuster would enable more liberal legislation than it would allow to be repealed.

The Republicans discovered a loophole where they could use the filibuster for everything. Like most loophole exploitations, you can only do that *once*, after which the loophole gets closed.

Conservatives have taken power in places like the UK and Canada with regularity, where they had absolute control of legislation. did they repeal their national health care systems? No, they did not. Did they repeal their social security systems? No.

I don't think there would have been any problems with respect to the filibuster if the Republicans pulled out all the stops on health care, but they overplayed their hand and used the filibuster for every single motion, appointment, and piece of legislation. You want to use the filibuster once a year and put on a big show? It would still be around if the Republicans had done that, but the job of the Senate is to function, not to be held up by imaginary filibuster motions.

Posted by: constans
-----
The problem with the filibuster is that it only takes a threat to invoke the filabuster and the person doing it does not have to show up.
In the past the filibuster is actually employed by forcing those who opposed the bill(s) to actually be there to talk it to death, which means sleeping in the office for their turn to speak, otherwise the bill gets its consideration for an up and down vote. This is the way it should be done.

Posted by: beeker25 | March 10, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

This way, the next time Republicans take over the presidency and both houses of Congress, perhaps as early as 2012, we may repeal and undo all left-wing reforms and progresses, by converting all social security to private savings accounts, privatize all public schools, convert Medicare and Medicaid to health savings accounts, repeal the whole tax code and replace it by a flat tax, etc.

Posted by: ng_kar_yan
-------
Highly unlikely it would happen because at this point the Republicans have flip-flop on the medicare thing by first trying to cut it only to face the anger of the seniors in 1993. Recently last fall they end up with the Seniors Bill of Rights which thy heavily promoted with Michael Steele doing a tongue twisted for and against cutting Medicare in the same sentence.
For the 2012 you say the Republican take over both Chambers or Presidency, it is unlikely will happen but most likely in 2016 or 2018 but what you are saying is merely a pipe dream because you do not factor in the variations of the races across the country that could change the dynamics of it. As a matter of fact Steele has said that the Republican will not be a majority in the House so much for jumping ahead of saying "Speaker Boehner."

Posted by: beeker25 | March 10, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid, who won't be around next year anyway, and the Democrats can run their mouths all they want to but they'll never vote away the filibuster because they know they are just one election away from becoming the minority themselves. The Democrats loved the filibuster when they were in the minority and I can't see them throwing that power out when their party could very well be out of power completely after 2012.

Posted by: RobT1 | March 10, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse


At the start of the "next Congress" Harry the horse's ass Reid will no longer be a United States Senator.

Harry the horse's asp Reid will be ousted from the U.S. Senate this November. Mark my words.

237 days until Election Day. See you at the polls, Dims.

Posted by: screwjob11 | March 10, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

A couple law scholars say that no delay till next congress is needed:

"Because dual-tracking is a Senate practice, not a formal rule, the majority leader, Harry Reid, could end tracking at any time. By doing so, the Democrats would transform the filibuster and recover their opportunity to govern effectively."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/opinion/10martin.html

Posted by: jkford1 | March 10, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

If the Dems steam roll reconciliation, there will be no filibuster anymore, and the Senate will have been forever damaged.

Posted by: kwoods2 | March 10, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Re: the idea that Republicans would eliminate social insurance programs and further but for the filibuster.

There are only two possibilities:
1) They campaign on that platform
2) They don't campaign on that platform

If they run on that platform, who would vote for them?

If they don't run on that platform, but make those changes who would vote for them afterwards?

The same logic applies on their social issues-- they would no longer have an excuse not to pass their policy positions. Since the majority of Americans don't support those positions, it is a difficult platform to win with.

Posted by: jamie_2002 | March 10, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

It never takes more than 51 votes to pass a bill - ever. Remember that the 60 votes only applies to ending debate. Vast quantities of vacuous "debate" has been used recently to blackjack our government.

Posted by: rwfegley | March 10, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Whether you're anti filibuster today or yesterday, it doesn't matter. The point is that making constitutional changes when YOU DONT GET WHAT YOU WANT is what they do in third world Latin-American countries. Democrats lack self control, foresight and tact.

Posted by: batigol85 | March 10, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"We'll come back to that later." Washington speak for f.u.

Posted by: bmull | March 10, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

In the world today the following has sadly become reality. If something benefits us or we agree with something, it is good. On the other hand, if we disagree with something or find something disagreeable, we find it bad. I wonder how many of the good Democrats who submitted something will feel if the Republicans gain control of the Senate and pass something they do not like. At the same time, I wonder how many good Republicans will find something passed by the Democrats under new rules acceptable. If you change the rules, you may well get something you do not want. Think about it.

Posted by: jeffreed | March 10, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

The only thing Harry Reid is going to be doing next year is sweeping out the parking lot at the nearest grocery store or being the boytoy of some convict in prison.

Would somebody do the Post a favor and tell them to fire this adled brain fool,Ezra Klein?

DICKY and EZRA, YOU ARE FIRED!

Posted by: LogicalSC | March 10, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Mr. Smith would have to say?

Posted by: andrew23boyle | March 10, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

"Health Care Reform will be in effect for more than 3 years"

This comment shows how ignorant Leftists really are about anything but the nonsense propaganda they are fed by CBS and the loons at MSNBC

Anybody with a brain knows that Barry plans for "healthcare reform" do not take effect until at least 2015 or 2016 but the taxes, penalties and fines are effective immediately. This little LIE was the only way for Barry and the communists to get around the CBO telling America how this out of control little disaster is really going to COST. They take in 5 years of taxes and then start providing "benefits".

How is it that you fools do not know this?

The lies told by Pelosi, Obama, Reid and other communists about this disaster are endless, but Obama's Welfare Nation supporters do give a rat's arse because they intend on getting the "free goodies" from the gubermint.

Posted by: LogicalSC | March 10, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Reid's just running the same old bait-and-switch game that politicians always play on the suckers (AKA "citizens"). "We're gonna fix this after the next go-round. Promise. Trust us. Oh, and send money, okey-dokey?" Reid's only talent is that he can play the rubes so much, and still keep a straight face.

Look, if the filibuster really is such an anachronism (and it is -- but then, so is the Senate), what the hell is keeping Reid from doing something NOW?

Note that it isn't only Democrats who treat their constituents like suckers. There's no shortage of disasters that bear the Republican trademark (e.g., our glorious adventure in Iraq), but consider just the abortion issue: For years the GOP drove their "pro-life" suckers to the polls with a lot of anti-abortion shuck'n'jive. Yet strangely, over eight years with a Republican White House, solid Congressional majorities, and a compliant Supreme Court, abortions are still performed throughout the land.

Both parties should die.

Posted by: SGlover910 | March 10, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Hot Air -- Sad: Democrats now openly lying to lefties about repealing the filibuster
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/03/10/sad-democrats-now-openly-lying-to-lefties-about-repealing-the-filibuster/

Posted by: StewartIII | March 10, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

ng_kar_yan
"privatize all public schools"

Oh, yes, the old "privatize all public schools".

I presume, ng_kar_yan, that you and all the other TEA BAGGERs posting here yell "What the framers wanted" all the time. Guess what? The framers WANTED public schools. MANDATORY public schools were included in the Northwest Ordinance in 1787, passed by the Continental Congress. The Continental Congress preceded the creation and ratification of the Constitution (that happened in 1787/88. When the first Congress met (in 1789), they made a few changes in certain acts passed by the Continental Congress, including the NorthWest Territories Act, but did NOT change the requirement (yes, Virginia, a requirement) that there be provision for public schools. So if you are ALL for the interpretation of the framers of the Constitution, then what mental gymnastics are you using (or illegal substance) to justify eliminating public education, when it is abundantly clear to anyone who has studied the matter that the framers REQUIRED for public education?

Or are all TEA BAGGERs just as stupid as you, repeating anything that is fed to you by Faux News, Lush, Manthrax, et. al., without doing any research to verify the information?

Posted by: critter69 | March 11, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Better do it quick, Harry. You're out of a job come November, and the Dems will lose control of both the House and Senate.

Posted by: johnhiggins1990 | March 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Let's just repeal the amendment to the constitution that allows the people to vote for our Senators and go back to having state legislators appoint our representatives to the Senate.

Then they might get more work done instead of spending so much time demonizing each other and their political opponents ideas. No more time spent raising money to be elected on the rubber chicken circuit. Let them work five days a week while in session instead of three. They are all a bunch of political prima donnas'.

I'm sick of politics as usual and I really think if they were to go back to answering to their state legislators and constituents. Instead of playing to the cameras to get a sound bite on the 24/7 news cycle, we the people might get some of the government we need and deserve. No more "business as usual"!

God save the U.S.A.

Posted by: sknox1 | March 11, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

hill_marty:
The jackhole is from Nevada, not Arizona.

Posted by: reheiler | March 11, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Reid won't be around to propose any changes, so it's a non-issue. But is he really so daft as to think we don't know he and his cohorts didn't relish the idea of the filibuster when he was in the minority and wasn't he one of the folks leading the charge against the so-called "nuclear option"? Just imagine if you didn't need cloture to get things to the floor. There would never be a need for bipartisanship. Just think what a Republican majority congress led by Palin-ites could do!

Posted by: ted22 | March 11, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

To: hill_marty
Subject: Harry Reid

Please be advised that Senator Harry Reid is form Nevada. The people of Arizona cannot send him home. Thry can, however, send Senator John Mc Cain home.

Posted by: makeitwright | March 11, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

"Stabenow made a similar point to explain why there are 83 nominees pending before the body. It's not that these nominees don't have the votes, she argued. It's that the Senate doesn't have the time to spend a week waiting for the cloture motions that would allow each one a vote. "If we do," Stabenow said, "we won't have time to do anything else.""

Ezra, why can't they dual-track this?

Posted by: adamiani | March 12, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

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