The New Democrat Online

Friday, January 25, 2013

Senate Democrats: Video: Leader Reid: Democratic Principles For The 113th Congress: House Senate Democrats Should Move Forward



Senate Democrats in the 113th Congress will have an increased majority from what they had in the 112th Congress. Going from 53-55 seats and because of this will have an opportunity to not only control the agenda as far as what issues get debated in the Senate. But I believe will have an opportunity to actually pass some legislation. They of course won't have a filibuster proof majority and the filibuster wasn't eliminated yesterday. But because of President Obama being reelected and with all of the states he won in his reelection. The ball is in the court of the Democratic Party to pass some legislation and move the ball forward. With Republicans especially in the House I believe will be on the defensive on a lot of these issues. So what Democrats should be focused on when it comes to issues and lets take the debt and deficit. Just to use one with their new majority they should be passing their own debt and. Deficit reduction plan because you only need fifty one votes to pass a budget in the Senate, so they could pass. Their own budget layout what they believe should be cut and where reforms can be made in the budget. And not just put tax reform in the table but actually try to pass it as part of deficit reduction in the Senate.

On issues like immigration reform, its in House Republicans best interest to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Because of how badly Republicans did especially Mitt Romney when it came to Latino voters in 2012. And a comprehensive plan to deal with immigration that yes secures the border but also deals with in a responsible way. For with the 10-15M illegal immigrants so they can become legal residents and pay a fine and back taxes. For entering the country illegally and for whatever back taxes they may owe and be able to continue to live in the country. As long as they aren't convicted of felonies and are working and not living off of. Public assistance, Senate Democrats especially in the Judiciary Committee will move to mark up. A bill but House Republicans are already in the process of doing the same thing and are looking for. Ways to reach out with House Democrats to write a Bi Partisan bill. So Democrats politically because of how well they did in the 2012 elections are in position to push an agenda. Not a far left agenda but an agenda on issues like deficit reduction and immigration, gun control even. That has majority support of the American people.

One of the things I didn't like about Senate Democrats in the 112th Congress when it came to their strategy. Was when House Republicans would pass something and send it to the Senate, Leader Reid would kill it automatically. Move to table the bill, which he should've done but then Democrats would counter by bringing their own bill. To the floor without a committee markup and not much thought put into the legislation that was probably written. In the Leader's office and then Senate Republicans led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would object to. It the legislation would die there because Democrats didn't have the sixty votes to move the. Legislation forward because they didn't talk to any Republicans about it or even talk to all of the Democrats about it either. In this Congress House Republicans will probably send legislation over to them that they don't like. But what they should do instead is markup their own legislation and see if they can bring a few Republicans on board. And see if they can counter the House by actually passing legislation.

With the changes in the Senate filibuster rule on Thursday, Senate Democrats will now not only be able. To bring legislation to the floor but then be able to debate it and even amend it. Because Senate Republicans will no longer be able to block the motion to proceed. So what Democrats should be doing is returning to regular order and drafting and marking up. Legislation in committee and then bringing it to the floor that way and they even bring some Republicans with them as well. And try legislating that way and what could get out of a process like this is the House and Senate competing with each other in battle place of ideas.