Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny
|Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke to the press on the vote to limit filibusters on presidential nominees on Capitol Hill on Thursday in Washington.|
Hot Damn! I never really held with much of what ole Senator Harry Reid was pushing (most of it was snake oil) but on the Filibuster change I just gotta give the dude credit. He is spot on with using the nuclear option and precipitating the change of the rules of the Senate with regard to the Filibuster and the "super majority" BS. Remember folks (especially those inclined to power) the the sword of change and the benefits thereof work both ways.
Kudos to Senator Harry Reid on this one. When somebody gets it right for a change it is fitting they receive the acknowledgement for a job well done.
WASHINGTON — The curtailment of the filibuster, probably the most well-known aspect of the Senate in popular culture, came in a politically charged vote Thursday that had been years in the making. It will have significant ramifications for the Senate, as well as for President Obama and future presidents.
The decision represents a new curb on the Senate’s constitutional power of “advice and consent,” a power that Democrats said Republicans had been abusing in their determination to deny Mr. Obama his choices for the federal bench and high-level administration offices. Under the action precipitated by Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, opponents will no longer be able to require the majority to produce 60 votes to advance a judicial or executive branch nomination short of the Supreme Court.
“It’s time to get the Senate working again — not for the good of the current Democratic majority or some future Republican majority, but for the good of the country,” said Mr. Reid, who in the past had been reluctant to force through a rules change. “It is time to change the Senate, before this institution becomes obsolete.”
The change does not extend to legislation, which lawmakers can still resist and require supporters to gather 60 votes to pass. But given the new willingness to alter the rules, senators in the future could conceivably reach that point.
Inside the Senate, furious Republicans who portrayed the Democratic action as a blatant power grab will no doubt try to exact revenge by further slowing the chamber’s activities and making life as complicated as possible for Democrats. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader and an expert student of Senate rules, made it clear that Democrats would rue this day.
Many Democrats had been very hesitant to act, fearing that the move would boomerang when Republicans won back control of the Senate and the White House. But they say the level of obstruction had gone too far, including the unsuccessful filibuster of the nomination of Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, as defense secretary.
“The Senate now enters the 21st century,” said Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa. “This is a good day for the Senate.”
Both parties had moved to the brink of rules changes over judicial nominations for the past eight years, but always stepped back out of fear of threatening the nature of the Senate and bringing Congress to a halt. The Democratic action on Thursday will now test whether anxiety about that scenario was warranted. [Full Article]
I for one will sleep better tonight knowing our republic is closer (again) to functioning as it was intended by the founders of our Great Republic.