January 22, 2010
With Tuesday's loss, Democrats have only 57 senators, and the media is declaring this a major public rejection of the Democratic Party. It is useful to note, however, that with Tuesday's win, the Republicans have only 41 senators. In fact, Republicans have not had as many as 57 sitting senators since 1921. No Republican president has had a "filibuster-proof" majority in the U.S. Senate since the shortened term of Warren G. Harding. Again this year, Democrats have not distinguished themselves.
January 13, 2010
While "Google" makes sense for word of the decade from a social perspective ["Google," Style, Jan. 9], "filibuster" has been more significant in terms of its impact on American lives. Legislative progress in this country has been stifled for the past 10 years by the threat of the filibuster, which requires that a supermajority of U.S. senators back a bill before it can pass. And as we have seen in the health-care debate, it is difficult to get 60 senators to agree on anything.
September 25, 2013 |
John McCain said more in 10 minutes on the Senate floor than Ted Cruz did in 21 hours. The Texas hothead had just completed his impressive bladderbuster, in which he discussed Ashton Kutcher and Toby Keith, did a Darth Vader impression, recited passages from Ayn Rand, read "Green Eggs and Ham" to his daughters at home, and spoke directly to his "sweetheart" via C-SPAN. At the end, he thanked dozens of people for their contributions to his marathon, as if rolling the credits on the heroic film of...
February 14, 2013 |
Senate Republicans delivered a sharp rebuke to President Obama on Thursday when they began a filibuster of Chuck Hagel 's nomination as secretary of defense. The confirmation process stalled Thursday when GOP senators deprived Hagel of the 60 votes needed to move it to its final stages. Republicans said they were seeking a delay so they could look more closely at the nominee. Both sides still think the former GOP senator from Nebraska will be confirmed, but the filibuster brought stark condemnations from...
December 21, 2012 |
Ideas are not responsible for the people who believe them, but when evaluating Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's ideas for making the Senate more like the House of Representatives, consider the source. Reid is just a legislative mechanic trying to make Congress's machinery efficiently responsive to his party's progressivism. And proper progressives think that the Constitution, understood as a charter of limited government, is unconstitutional. They think that the "living" Constitution gives government powers sufficient for...
September 29, 2012
In his Sept. 25 Fine Print column, " A day in the dysfunctional life of the Senate ," Walter Pincus stated that no one seems to have a plan to get Congress working again. Under the current rules, the minority party has no incentive to compromise, only to obstruct. That is why in 1995, as a member of the then-minority party, I introduced a proposal to reform the filibuster. I believed, as I do now, that filibuster-induced paralysis would...