‘Dems Defend Filibuster Reform Effort: ‘McConnell Has Broken The Social Contract’
Again, more then ANY legislative action, filibuster reform will do more to actually let Congress govern again.
Senator Mitch McConnell IS the face of Republican Obstructionism.
‘Changes to the Senate rules are rare, typically minor, and usually require 67 votes be implemented’.
‘But Democrats can avail themselves of a complicated, arcane procedure in January and amend the rules as they choose with an easier 50-plus-one majority’.
‘On the Senate floor Monday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell railed against his counterpart, Harry Reid, and a “cohort of short-sighted Senate sophomores,” for proposing to modify the Senate’s filibuster rules on the first day of the 113th Congress to limit the extent to which the minority can gum up legislative business’.
“Does [Reid] believe that on the day he finds himself in the minority once again that he should no longer be heard?” McConnell asked’.
“The point I would make is that I’ve said from the outset is that a test of a good proposal is whether or not you could live with serving under it in the minority,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). “That’s why the talking filibuster is the right way to go. McConnell has broken the social contract. His team, under his leadership, uses it constantly and silently, out of public sight.… If we’re in the minority and we’re blocking something, we should be accountable to the public.”
‘Two ideas have wide support in the Democratic caucus’.
‘The first, more cursory change, would make what’s known as the “motion to proceed” non-debatable. That means the minority could no longer block debate on legislation, while holding out for guarantees on amendment votes or legislative changes to the underlying bill’.
‘The other would recreate a status quo ante, where filibustering senators would be required to hold the floor and draw public attention to their obstruction efforts. “If they want a filibuster, stand and talk about it,” Reid said’.
‘But under nearly all permutations of these reforms, the supermajority requirement would survive’.
‘That would still leave the GOP minority plenty of opportunities to obstruct — and Republicans are threatening to take them’.
From : http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/11/dems-defend-filibuster-reform-effort-mcconnell-has-broken-the-social-contract.php