A split Senate (1 Viewer)

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wardorican

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They still haven't worked out their rules. This is just grinding the Senate to a halt.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powe...19e512-5cf3-11eb-b8bd-ee36b1cd18bf_story.html

When President Biden took office last week, he promised sweeping, bipartisan legislation to solve the coronavirus pandemic, fix the economy and overhaul immigration.
Just days later, the Senate ground to a halt, with Democrats and Republicans unable to agree on even basic rules for how the evenly divided body should operate.

Meanwhile, key Republicans have quickly signaled discomfort with — or outright dismissal of — the cornerstone of Biden’s early legislative agenda, a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes measures such as $1,400 stimulus checks, vaccine distribution funding and a $15 minimum wage.
On top of that, senators are preparing for a wrenching second impeachment trial for former president Donald Trump, set to begin Feb. 9, which could mire all other Senate business and further obliterate any hopes of cross-party cooperation.


....

But most of those Democrats — who watched McConnell exempt Republican nominees from filibuster rules where he saw fit under Trump, after using them to the GOP’s advantage for six years before that to block Obama’s legislation and nominees — now find his early power move to be infuriating.
 

Booker

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It'll be interesting to see if this obstruction right out the gate will influence talk about eliminating the filibuster. If they want to get anything done they might have to bite the bullet, but I can understand reluctance to the idea for fear that doing so would eventually backfire. I would fully expect to see the Republicans use it as a reason to close ranks, but at the same time, if they're already closing ranks then what's the difference?
 

brandon

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It'll be interesting to see if this obstruction right out the gate will influence talk about eliminating the filibuster. If they want to get anything done they might have to bite the bullet, but I can understand reluctance to the idea for fear that doing so would eventually backfire. I would fully expect to see the Republicans use it as a reason to close ranks, but at the same time, if they're already closing ranks then what's the difference?
The determination to end the filibuster will need to be made on whether or not the Republicans are offering any alternative ideas for addressing COVID-19 and the economy. Immigration can wait for the moment.

If they have a different opinion for how to address these issues, let's hear it and negotiate a compromise. But if they're just saying no for the sake of saying no, then it's probably time to kill the filibuster.
 
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wardorican

wardorican

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The determination to end the filibuster will need to be made on whether or not the Republicans are offering any alternative ideas for addressing COVID-19 and the economy. Immigration can wait for the moment.

If they have a different opinion for how to address these issues, let's hear it and negotiate a compromise. But if they're just saying no for the sake of saying no, then it's probably time to kill the filibuster.
Without knowing how the rules will get decides (i.e. do you NEED both sides to agree), then how would the democrats kill off the filibuster now? Seems dead in the water. Seems like they just want it in their back pocket in case the GOP goes full obstruction.

Even if they come up with a rules agreement, can they go back on it later?
 

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Without knowing how the rules will get decides (i.e. do you NEED both sides to agree), then how would the democrats kill off the filibuster now? Seems dead in the water. Seems like they just want it in their back pocket in case the GOP goes full obstruction.

Even if they come up with a rules agreement, can they go back on it later?
I think rules are set at the beginning of the session.
 
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wardorican

wardorican

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Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is refusing to allow Democrats to take control of the Senate. In so doing, the minority leader is banking on a twisted convention of political reporting that he knows will play to his advantage.

Specifically, McConnell has calculated that the press will place the onus of achieving bipartisan cooperation on President Biden, while allowing Republicans to cast their own withholding of bipartisan cooperation as proof of Biden’s failure to achieve it.
We know this because we have already seen McConnell operate from this playbook. He has been quite open about how it works. And this fact should shift the way the entire public discussion about McConnell’s strategy proceeds.

McConnell is employing a simple but deceptive scam that has hoodwinked a lot of people for a long time. The central ruse is that McConnell piously holds up the filibuster as a tool for securing bipartisan cooperation.
 

coldseat

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McConnell has been playing this same scheme for decades with his power. None of this is surprising. He's also right about the media. They're already doing it.

But Biden also painted himself into that corner by making bi-partisanship such a central part of this campaign. His approach the whole time should have been, "Look, we want to and will work with Republicans where we can, but you've seen their hypocritical behavior the last 12 years. If they keep playing the same games, there's no room to work with them. There are things that need to get done and we're going to do the things that need to get done. I hope they join us."
 
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wardorican

wardorican

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I can't read the article. What mechanism is McConnell using to prevent the Majority Leader from setting the agenda and appointing committee seats? Is he blocking actual Senate business? Or just stalling legislation?
With no new rules, the Senate can't update committees or appoint new senators to committees.
 

DaveXA

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Here you go @DaveXA


Well, looks like it's gonna be a messy transition then. If there is one non-negotiable for Republicans, it's gonna be the filibuster issue. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I don't know if the strategy is viable, I'd agree to no filibuster, but leave that as a sort of nuclear option if it's ever warranted. There's really nothing to prevent them from trying to implement it.

That said, I'm not sure a filibuster removal would actually carry in the Senate. Manchin is already on record saying he wouldn't vote to remove it.
 

coldseat

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With no new rules, the Senate can't update committees or appoint new senators to committees.

I guess the thing that I don't understand is why they have to "agree" to rules. If the dems control the Senate with the VP vote, why don't they just pass their own rules. Is "agreeing" to rules something they always do?

Also, how long can McConnell keep this game up? If he doesn't have to agree and as a result stall Senate business for the next two years, why would he?
 

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I think the Filibuster rules should be modified. The minority shouldn't be allowed to hold up legislation indefinitely without a counterproposal. There should be a reasonable amount of time for the minority to develop their counterproposal, such as up to 2 months. The Senate should then have the option to vote on both the counterproposal first and then the majority's proposal. If the counterproposal can garner at least 50 votes, then they've made a good proposal. If not, then the majority's proposal should be voted upon. This will allow the minority to slow down legislation, but not stop everything in its tracks without offering something upon which they are willing to vote for. I suspect that the minority will push forward legislation that will appear politically damaging to the majority, but the majority should have the option to not vote on either proposal. At least this will require senators to vote on legislation.
 

DaveXA

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I guess the thing that I don't understand is why they have to "agree" to rules. If the dems control the Senate with the VP vote, why don't they just pass their own rules. Is "agreeing" to rules something they always do?

Also, how long can McConnell keep this game up? If he doesn't have to agree and as a result stall Senate business for the next two years, why would he?

Well, he does have to be somewhat careful. Completely stalling could turn those moderates against him and the Manchins of the Senate would see it for what it is and be fine with doing away with the filibuster. McConnell can certainly overplay his hand.

I think he's smart enough not to. But I guess we'll see.

Setting rules each session is always negotiated between the parties and this isn't any different, although 50-50 will make for some interesting dynamics.
 
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wardorican

wardorican

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I guess the thing that I don't understand is why they have to "agree" to rules. If the dems control the Senate with the VP vote, why don't they just pass their own rules. Is "agreeing" to rules something they always do?

Also, how long can McConnell keep this game up? If he doesn't have to agree and as a result stall Senate business for the next two years, why would he?
The overall rules resolution require the usual 60 votes to get past debate. That's why. The Democrats, actually most senators, don't want to remove the filibuster. They just want to have the threat of removing it.

But once that is out, it will constantly be the tyranny of the majority, which, is really tyranny of the minority, since low population states have over representation... when Republicans eventually win the senate again. It will be awful.
 

coldseat

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The overall rules resolution require the usual 60 votes to get past debate. That's why. The Democrats, actually most senators, don't want to remove the filibuster. They just want to have the threat of removing it.

But once that is out, it will constantly be the tyranny of the majority, which, is really tyranny of the minority, since low population states have over representation... when Republicans eventually win the senate again. It will be awful.

I think it's often overstated how awful it would be without the filibuster when Republicans take control again. Republicans aren't really about passing major pieces of legislation to address serious problems. They mostly pass tax cuts for wealthy and business, which they always accomplish under budget reconciliation anyway. Other than that, it's judges, which again they already only need a majority. Possibly pass draconian immigration laws, but their moderate members might balk at anything to drastic.

Democrats are the ones how pass major pieces of legislation. Having the filibuster mostly affects what they want to accomplish. And McConnell knows that. The worst that we'll get without the filibuster is a lot of 180's on legislation Republicans are opposed to. We already have that same effect with executive orders.
 

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