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View Diary: Elizabeth Warren argues strongly for filibuster reform (222 comments)

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  •  That has ALWAYS been the option (1+ / 0-)
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    the problem is that Senate leadership keeps tabling the bills whenever filibuster is threatened. We don't need rule reform to fix the problem we need Senate leadership willing to put the opposition through their paces as the founders intended.

    •  No, it hasn't been. If you don't (2+ / 0-)
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      MPociask, mightymouse

      have the votes present to end closure, there is no reason to hold the vote in the first place. Senators have to be present and vote for closure for it to succeed. An absence currently equals a "no" vote on ending closure.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:32:33 AM PST

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      •  That is the Mansfield rule. Which needs to be (7+ / 0-)

        dumped. Slight correction. This is not the nuclear option. The nuclear option was a maneuver suggested and threatened by Republicans in mid session. It involved putting Dick Cheney in the Chair as presiding officer and making a procedure call from the chair that such a rule change would not be out of order. I know I am a Robert's Rules nerd. But it is an important distinction.

        It is not controversial to set or change rules at the beginning of a Congressional session. But to do it in the middle of one would have been highly dubious at best. But then again a number of Republicans are rat fuckers.

        •  I'm not sure why (0+ / 0-)

          you are telling me about the nuclear option or its controversy here, but you are of course, correct.

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:46:23 AM PST

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          •  Not you, but everyone. No offense intended. (5+ / 0-)

            But there is a move to strike a false equivalency about this and the Dick Cheney ruling from the chair in midstream. The argument is that we are hypocrites for supporting this rule change when we denounced Republicans for trying to do the same. it is not the same and I felt that that distinction needed to be made. I am sorry that I stepped on your toes. Really no snark.

      •  That's Exactly Right! (4+ / 0-)

        The Senate has to either ELIMINATE the filibuster altogether or REVERSE the presumption that the minority simply has to present a query to the chair suggesting the lack of 60 votes to invoke cloture -- and the burden is on the majority to prove they have 60 votes.

        If they don't then the debate continues -- indefinitely.

        And "making them stand up and talk" won't work! They got rid of that requirement because it just wore out the MAJORITY! THEY had to be present to vote and all but 2 or 3 of the filibusterers could go home and rest and even leave town for days on end, until they were on duty!

        One Senator who holds the floor can yield the floor to another (Republican opponent of cloture) who can continue the diatribe while the first Senator goes home to dinner.

        In short it's a total farce to make them "stand up and speak like Mr. Smith goes to Washington". They got rid of that for a reason.

        Because it doesn't WORK! That's why!

        •  Making them stand up and talk (7+ / 0-)

          works if you make the filibusterers prove they have the feet and will to keep their minority present--which I think is what you mean here. The Mr. Smith example is appropriate under rules that existed back then (and which we could have again.) Make the minority prove their numbers exist by requiring votes to maintain the filibuster, not to end it.

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:24:13 AM PST

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        •  clarification of rule XXII (2+ / 0-)
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          StrayCat, glitterscale

          rule XXII require a vote of 3/5ths of senators chosen and sworn to end debate.  Most senate business is conducted by a majority of those present and voting.  There its a live quorum requirement but obviously without a quorum, there's no way to get a super majority.  So it isn't just asking for a quorum; it is the language of the rule referring to chosen and sworn, meaning all senators whether or not present our voting.

          One further clarification of the rules.  A senator cannot yield the floor to another member in general debate.  Sometimes one will yield to another for a question, but the one who yields remains standing and on the floor. If the senator yields, the majority leader can claim the right of first recognition.

    •  not it has not always been that way (1+ / 0-)
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      the Bush era senators changed the rules so that all you had to do was say we will or "I will" filibuster and that all votes in the senate now have to be a super majority of 60+ senators in favor of passing anything, instead of a simple 51 majority as it once was.

      *the blogger formerly known as shirlstars

      by Shirl In Idaho on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:44:02 AM PST

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