The Democrats' power give
Dan Foster at the National Review and AllahPundit at HotAir.com both agree: There's really nothing for minority parties to fear in the Democrats' proposed filibuster reforms. And they're right about that.
Compare the provisions that say minorities can't do something to those that say they can do something. In the "can't" category is (1) can't uphold a filibuster without having people debating the bill on the floor, (2) can't place a hold on a bill without disclosing that you've done so and (3) can't filibuster a motion to proceed.
If you read that closely, there's no basic tool Senate minorities have now that they won't have if these reforms pass: They can still filibuster bills, they can still place holds. I cannot think of a single piece of legislation that would've ended differently in the presence of these rules.
Conversely, the reform package also says minorities can do something: They get to offer at least three germane amendments on every single bill. The majority often doesn't let the minority do this because the amendments, if sufficiently well targeted, can split the majority party, adding something that, say, conservative Democrats can't vote against, but liberal Democrats can't stand to see pass. I can think of a few bills where this power would've, at the least, changed the makeup of the final legislation.
As I've said before, for better or for worse, there's no power grab here. If anything, there's a slight power give. That's not meant as a knock on the package, which, as readers know, I consider good on its own merits, but not likely to solve any of the problems of the modern Senate. But there's a reason liberals aren't that excited and conservatives aren't that opposed: This package won't really help liberals, and it won't really hurt conservatives.
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