It took about a day for the Senate floor debate over immigration to get twisted into a knot over amendment votes and the chamber’s arcane procedures.So here's the Republican rule: simple up-or-down votes for all our poison pills, and 60 vote margins for everything else. And if Democrats don't agree to that, they're the ones filibustering it. Greatest deliberative body in the world.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., asked consent to line up five amendments for votes, but he tried to set them up with 60-vote thresholds for the votes, as has become somewhat routine. He faced a Republican objection.
Reid jabbed at a counterproposal offered by Senate Judiciary ranking member Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, in which the Republican floor manager tried to make a similar request with a simple majority vote threshold for adopting each of the amendments in his version of the proposal. [...]
“It’s amazing to me that the majority has touted this immigration bill process as one that is open and regular order, but right out of the box … they want to subject our amendments to a filibuster-like 60-vote threshold. So I have to ask who is obstructing now?” Grassley responded to Reid. “There is no reason, particularly in this first week, at the beginning of the process, to be blocking our amendments with a 60-vote margin that’s required when you suppose there is a filibuster.”
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