Monday, November 26, 2012

Senate Democrats: Majority Leader Harry Reid: 'On Filibuster Reform: I Want The Record To Be Very Clear'

Source:Senate Democrats- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat, Nevada)

"Nevada Senator Harry Reid addresses the need for filibuster reform from the Senate floor." 

What Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is talking about here is that he's not trying to or wants to eliminate the filibuster. He just wants the minority party whether it's the Republican Party like today or the Democratic Party, just six years ago, to actually have to filibuster in order to slow down or block legislation. And he makes an excellent point. 

The way the Senate cloture rule (which is the filibuster rule) works today, is that the Majority Leader (in this case Harry Reid) brings legislation or executive nominees to the floor that Senate Democrats and the Obama Administration want to pass and confirm. And Leader Reid generally has a majority to pass that legislation or confirm those nominees. But without first consulting with the Minority Leader (in this case Mitch McConnell) or the Ranking Republican on whatever the committee that has jurisdiction over that legislation. 

Then what the Minority Leader (in this case Mitch McConnell) does, since he has 47-100 members of the Senate, is try to line up at least 41 of his own members to block the legislation that Senate Republicans haven't even been consulted on, to block the legislation or nominee from being passed or confirmed. And the exact same thing happened in the 2000s when there were 2 Republican Senate's and George W. Bush was President and Tom Daschle and then later Harry Reid was the Senate Minority Leader. 

What Leader Reid wants to do and this won't happen at least until the next Congress is sworn in after the New Year, is pass a rule that says if you want to block legislation, you have to actually hold the floor and filibuster about the bill that you want to block. As soon as you give up the floor and there aren't at least 41 other members on the Senate floor, the Majority Leader could then move to pass the bill and just need 50 votes, plus the Vice President, to pass the legislation. 

This would be the filibuster rule regardless of whose in the majority and whose in the minority and whoever the Majority Leader and Minority Leader are. 

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