Dana Milbank notes the quiet passage of an important milestone.
For anniversaries, the 50th is golden. But as Republicans returned to town on Monday to mark their 50th filibuster of this 111th Congress, there were no reminiscences about filibusters past, no swapping of old snapshots of favorite obstruction memories.
In fact, only one Republican, the indefatigable Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, even bothered to go to the Senate floor to speak in favor of the filibuster -- this one an attempt to block unemployment benefits for millions of jobless Americans. The "debate" amounted to an extended quorum call -- a procedure under which the Senate's presiding officer sits in a chair and waits for somebody to show up and talk.
For the second time in as many months, Republicans had tried to block the unemployment benefits. Also for the second time, they failed. Four of their number, including "tea party" favorite Scott Brown of Massachusetts, sided with the Democrats. "Families in Massachusetts and across the nation are hurting," Brown said in a statement rebuking his colleagues after the vote. He said he preferred to "continue the debate rather than obstruct it."
April 14, 2010; 10:01 AM ET
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