Filibuster adjustments (1 Viewer)

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    Lapaz

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    With Manchin stalling most legislation, I think it is a good time to discuss ideas on how to amend the rule. Firstly, I think the filibuster should be preserved in some form, but not as it is today. I think the preserved form should be codified into law, so it isn't changed by each new majority. My proposal is to pass a law that requires a vote on bills passed by supermajorities by either chamber of congress. So if the House passes a bill with a supermajority, then there should not be an option to filibuster that bill. The senate would have to vote on the bill as it passed the other chamber without modification. This should result in only highly popular bills that are well crafted to be voted upon and passed, since poorly crafted bills will probably still fail. If the House were to pass a law to require a vote in the senate, then it would probably require the senate to suspend the filibuster for this one vote to convert the filibuster into a law. If the president signs it, then it would become the law for all future legislation. This amended filibuster would still protect the minority, but it would prevent the senate from sitting on legislation that has gotten vast support, and it would curtail the power of a small handful of senators.
     
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    Manchin doesn't seem to be willing to make any changes to the filibuster, regardless of what it does to Biden's agenda.

    They'll need to add more Democratic Senators in order to attempt to change anything with the filibuster.
     
    At the very least "I filibuster" shouldn't be an automatic stoppage like it currently is. I'm not saying full bore speaking filibuster is the only option, but require something out of the opposition. Actual debate/discussion/literally anything.

    Given the ridiculous task of getting 10 senators to cross the aisle, I'd also look at lowering the threshold to 3-5, not 10.
     
    Manchin doesn't seem to be willing to make any changes to the filibuster, regardless of what it does to Biden's agenda.

    They'll need to add more Democratic Senators in order to attempt to change anything with the filibuster.
    Correct. The only way a law to codify restrictions on filibusters would pass is if the Democrats were to win at least 1 more seat to make Manchin's opposition irrelevant OR if one of the moderate Republicans sees value in legislation to force votes on some legislation. This law can help both sides when they take control, and would reduce the threat of rule violations, while still forcing compromise, since laws won't pass with supermajorities unless there has been some compromise.
     
    At the very least "I filibuster" shouldn't be an automatic stoppage like it currently is. I'm not saying full bore speaking filibuster is the only option, but require something out of the opposition. Actual debate/discussion/literally anything.

    Given the ridiculous task of getting 10 senators to cross the aisle, I'd also look at lowering the threshold to 3-5, not 10.

    I kind of wish that the filibuster had an expatriation date, say one year from when the filibuster is invoked on a legislation. That way, it becomes more of a tool to force negoations on both sides of contentious legislation instead of just a cudgel to use against the majority and stop any progress on all legislation. That would also protect against a lame duck Congress trying to force though bad legislation. And they should also reinstate the requirement for Supreme Court justices (if they're going to have it), with the same stipulation and requirement that all nominees submitted by Presidents get a hearing.

    I also wouldn't mind seeing the vote threshold lowered to 55, instead of 60. The 911 commission would have passed with that threshold.
     
    I kind of wish that the filibuster had an expatriation date, say one year from when the filibuster is invoked on a legislation. That way, it becomes more of a tool to force negoations on both sides of contentious legislation instead of just a cudgel to use against the majority and stop any progress on all legislation. That would also protect against a lame duck Congress trying to force though bad legislation. And they should also reinstate the requirement for Supreme Court justices (if they're going to have it), with the same stipulation and requirement that all nominees submitted by Presidents get a hearing.

    I also wouldn't mind seeing the vote threshold lowered to 55, instead of 60. The 911 commission would have passed with that threshold.
    I prefer the 60 vote threshold, but your 1 year limit is interesting. I still worry that even a 1 year threshold will allow very extreme legislation to pass. The majority can just wait it out. It might have to be at least 2 years to cause another congress to vote.

    With my idea of requiring a vote on any legislation that passes with supermajorities, it is doubtful that extreme legislation would pass.

    Currently, Murkowsky is co-sponsoring the John Lewis voting rights act, but she is the only Republican. Perhaps she would be willing to support voting on filibuster reform legislation, since it might also allow her bill to pass, assuming it can garner a supermajority in the House.
     
    At the very least "I filibuster" shouldn't be an automatic stoppage like it currently is. I'm not saying full bore speaking filibuster is the only option, but require something out of the opposition. Actual debate/discussion/literally anything.

    Given the ridiculous task of getting 10 senators to cross the aisle, I'd also look at lowering the threshold to 3-5, not 10.

    I'll say it. If you want to filibuster, you should be prepared to take your arse to the floor and state your case. That should be done in conjunction with changing the cloture vote requirement from total senators to senators present to ensure that nobody tries to leave to prevent a cloture vote. This would preserve the filibuster while forcing senators to participate in the process instead of abdicating responsibility.
     
    it becomes more of a tool to force negoations on both sides of contentious legislation instead of just a cudgel to use against the majority and stop any progress on all legislation.
    This is the main issue, so I'm behind pretty much anything that solves it.
    I'll say it. If you want to filibuster, you should be prepared to take your arse to the floor and state your case. That should be done in conjunction with changing the cloture vote requirement from total senators to senators present to ensure that nobody tries to leave to prevent a cloture vote. This would preserve the filibuster while forcing senators to participate in the process instead of abdicating responsibility.
    Including this. I'm not opposed to the "standing" filibuster, but it's not a line in the sand for me.
     
    I'll say it. If you want to filibuster, you should be prepared to take your arse to the floor and state your case. That should be done in conjunction with changing the cloture vote requirement from total senators to senators present to ensure that nobody tries to leave to prevent a cloture vote. This would preserve the filibuster while forcing senators to participate in the process instead of abdicating responsibility.
    Forcing them to stand and talk adds pain, but also results in idiocy like when Ted Cruz read Green Eggs and Ham on the senate floor.
     
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    Forcing them to stand and talk adds pain, but also results in idiocy like when Ted Cruz red Green Eggs and Ham on the senate floor.

    And I have no problem forcing them actually discuss the bill. Resort to shirtty grandstanding tactics and you yield the floor to the speaker or majority leader.
     
    And I have no problem forcing them actually discuss the bill. Resort to shirtty grandstanding tactics and you yield the floor to the speaker or majority leader.
    Requiring them to speak to defend the bill probably can't be legislated, but it can be maintained as a rule. I'd like to see legislation such that the senate has to act in some cases regardless of who is in power.
     
    I kind of wish that the filibuster had an expatriation date, say one year from when the filibuster is invoked on a legislation. That way, it becomes more of a tool to force negoations on both sides of contentious legislation instead of just a cudgel to use against the majority and stop any progress on all legislation. That would also protect against a lame duck Congress trying to force though bad legislation. And they should also reinstate the requirement for Supreme Court justices (if they're going to have it), with the same stipulation and requirement that all nominees submitted by Presidents get a hearing.

    I also wouldn't mind seeing the vote threshold lowered to 55, instead of 60. The 911 commission would have passed with that threshold.
    I think House and Senate Dems have an image problem because too many in the party(liberal, left-leaning, outspoken types) have allowed most of the conversations surrounding the filibuster is one of "lets kill it, annihilate it". They allowed the GOP to push that perception out there to public and the MSM outlets and talking heads who backed them to be the Dems " public face" towards the filibuster issue. Rational, moderate, sensible Dems know that probably in the long-term, reforming the filibuster is better then eliminating it because who knows what outrageous shenanigans Republicans might do next time their in control or have enough support to push whatever hell they want, and Mitch McConnell has already stated he'd do as much if GOP won back control of the House or Senate in an interview few months ago.

    Expiration dates for Filibustering contensious bills makes sense. Maybe not a year, but a time frame of 4, 5, or 6 months should be more-then-adequate enough time to raise some formal, logical opposition and allow it the opportunity to see if the opposing arguments gain any merit or support.

    55 is a nice, ballpark number to sort of pick a starting point for lowering the now-60 voter threshold for passing bills. But it still seems too deliberate, sort of "in the moment" types of influence that leads to such a change. I think 57 or 58 Senate threshold for passing bills because it means more bipartisanship, more working together, striving little harder and maybe forcing both sides to ultimately, compromise a bit more to achieve a better, more constructive types of legislation to get passed. 54 or 55 takes a bit of effort, 57 or 58 requires politicians having to work maybe a !ittle harder to get unananimity on key, highly controversial "hot-button" topics.

    I think Amy Coney Barrett is a more likable, affable, solid legal and philosophical mind, but even I agree her nomination process, after Justice Ginsburg's death, was a rushed, hurried sham of a legal SCOTUS process. I'd rather have her credentials on the SCOTUS than Kavanaugh's, who IMHO, shouldn't have ever allowed to been a federal judge much less, get nominated to the highest legal office in the nation. But, still Kavanaugh faced more of the full, bloody SCOTUS nomination process gauntlet (very little good, lot very bad, and even more disgusting) tidbits into his personal life, legal philosophy and systemology, justifications of past controversial legal rulings. He got far more of the scorched-earth treatment (deservedly) than what 20% of Barrett got during her relatively shorter, briefer, less-ardous public dissection process. Mitch McConnell put even more nails in his tight political coffin for proving how much of a huge hypocrite he really was by supporting Barrett's stream-roll, quick and rushed Senate confirmation process in 2020 while intentionally sabotaging Merrick Garland's pleas in 2016 just to get a Senate hearing and while McConnell seemingly played up the "lets be respectful of recently-deceased Scalia and wait until after the election to re-examine" decency argument. Then again, McConnell did also say in early 2016 that he was opposed to Garland's hearing because he didnt want one of Obama's picks to become a SCOTUS justice, period. Even if that meant holding up the business of Senate doing its job in the interim period.
     

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