Robert Winner

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Killing the filibuster in Congress

After the election Senator Reid stated that he will sponsor a change to the rules which would essentially kill the filibuster. In 1975 the democrats changed the rules from a 2 thirds to a 3 fifths for override and the verbage changed to read from those present and voting to those duly chosen and sworn. Reid tried this a couple of years ago and his own party shot it down. This may not seem like a big thing but it is the only voice the minority in congress has.

In my opinion this would stop any hope of congress working together and members of the minority would be without vote or voice and may as well not attend.

Filibusters are seldom used and the very threat of a filibuster bring on a vote for cloture.

It could be seen that Senator Reid has said we do not want to work things out and we will be able to force our views without decent. Has a Politburo ring to it. The administration would no longer have to go around congress to implement stainability and cap and trade acts.

The voice of nealy half of the US would be silenced.

What is you opinion. Should the filibuster be killed?

  • Nov 14 2012: Linda Taylor: "The whole process is about negotiation and compromise. "

    That was once true, but no more. For example, congressmen have taken pledges to block new taxes, and consider those pledges as taking precedence over their duty to this country. This shows that there has been a big change in the way Washington works. It doesn't. When congressmen refuse to compromise, they are not doing the job; they are not participating in democracy. Instead they are putting their own interests above the interests of the country.

    Senator Reid is reacting to this new reality. It is understandable, as a way to fix a process that is no longer functioning as it should. But IMO, it should not be adopted unless the minority force the issue by using the filibuster inappropriately or excessively. Using the filibuster to block Presidential appointments, or to block indispensable appropriation bills is inappropriate. These are not issues of principles; they can and should be resolved by compromising.

    The whole process SHOULD be about negotiation and compromise. It is the job of each legislator to legislate. Get on with it.
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      Nov 17 2012: I agree with you that it's not working. I get that congressmen have taken pledges. But since when have congressmen ever become moral like that?

      They know what their job is. I still think it is the leadership that is out of whack. With no leadership facilitating compromise they are just like stubborn children throwing temper tantrums.

      I know we won't go over the cliff even if we have to wait until 11:59 pm on Dec 31. They stand to loose too much money. They will get it done but if they had leadership they would get it done quicker and work together without compromising their integrity. Everyone has an agenda and everyone has a line they will not cross. The leadership needs to find that out and start from common ground to move the process forward. I do not see anyone doing that.

      I know Obama is out of his league here. He comes from the Chicago school of politics where the machine enacts the will of the leadership. The leaders have the agenda and the machine makes it happen. They even call him Chicago informally in Washington.

      Washington does not work that way. Every time he says" it's not me, it's congress that is the problem" shows he has no clue how to make it work. At least I hope he doesn't have a clue. It would be a shame if he was doing this on purpose.

      A good congressman will advocate for her constituents, That's what they do. The process in Washington is about making that work. Nobody is making it work.
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    Gail .

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    Nov 10 2012: Congress should be spanked. The hate and fear mongering of both sides is unnecessary.

    Your attention is being diverted from the real problems that face not only this nation - but the world. Those are the problems that no one is talking about so they don't have to risk their political careers. Because of this, your voice, and mine, are ALREADY silenced.
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    Nov 10 2012: The House of Representatives has not had a filibuster since 1842 when the legislative technique was banned.The Senate has Rule XXII which allows a threatened or pending filibuster to be easily aborted. What more does Reid want? Note that supporters of the filibuster call it "The Soul of the Senate". America voted for change but this shouldn't be one of them. Don't take away the soul of the senate!
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    Nov 9 2012: I don't know when the filibuster has been used except by Jimmy Stewart.

    Reading a little about it and the fact that Harry Reid is for it means I'm probably against it.

    Wilson (the devil incarnate) persuaded senators to be able to end the filibuster by a cloture vote.

    The fact that this country desperately needs gridlock in the legislature.

    Hasn't enough been changed in the last 4 years?
    • Nov 10 2012: "I don't know when the filibuster has been used except by Jimmy Stewart."

      It's been used 224 times during Obama's first term...


      Harry Reid's plan is not entirely democrat-centered, after all, if the republicans regain the senate in the future (which might happen in as little as two years from now) they will profit from Reid's weakening of the filibuster.
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        Gail .

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        Nov 10 2012: Fillibuster's name has been changed. During Obama's term, no one that I know of actually took to the floor and talked until they dropped -- which is what a fillibuster is. Instead, they took actions to avoid a fillibuster, and the act of avoiding a fillibuster became known as a fillibuster during Obama's term.
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          Nov 10 2012: The only action I saw was the cloture vote, what is the one you are talking about?
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      Nov 10 2012: Oh my Gosh! I forgot about that movie! LOL
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    Nov 9 2012: The filibuster is a last-ditch default when all else fails. It shows the severe lack of leadership that congress is swirling around without leadership that the default has been leveraged so much in the resent past.

    I do not think we should get rid of it. I think the leadership needs to do its job and negotiate solutions before we run over the cliff. But it seems the leadership is sitting back and enjoying the chaos. Kinda like watching a cage fight. Instead of meetings to negotiate solutions, personal priorities are more important.
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      Nov 9 2012: Linda, to what extent do you think that media plays into this. Some things are leaked, some announced, and others hidden but always a favorable media breaks the story. It appears to me that everything is on trial by the press to sway public opinion. We must get rid of the filibuster to solve all the Bush problems, gain control over the wealthy, rid congressional votes / and voices of the pesky republicians. The agenda is not a secret, it is just much easier to achieve if you incite the people and eleminate the oposition.

      I say this because Reid stated that the senate majority could not achieve all of their goals unless he eliminates the filibuster.

      Just a thought.

      Bob.
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        Nov 9 2012: Reid is the majority now. What would happen if he was not part of the majority?

        I am also sick and tired of everyone blaming the state we are in on Bush. I once bought a home that was sold by a DIYer who did some marginal work. My husband used to complain about some of the little errors on the previous owner to anyone who would listen. After a few years, I pointed out to him that it made him look like an idiot that he did not fix the problems but just complained about them for years. If it was poor work, it made him look like an ass that he did not fix them.

        The whole process is about negotiation and compromise. The issues you listed could be fixed by the process as it has throughout history. The bigger problem is there is a lack of leadership that leverages the process and makes it work.

        The filibuster is just a tool. It is used when the process is not working. I do not think that giving one agenda complete power is the way to go. Solutions always are better if they consider all possible sequela. Colateral damage is always more pronounced if only one way is considered. It's the whole point of the process in the first place. I do not trust ANYONE who says they can fix it all by themselves with one agenda.

        The media is just crap. They exists to sell a product to a targeted audience. It is ADVERTISING. People forget that. You have to wade through all kinds of opinion just to find a fact or two. The problem is that most people don't bother.