Skip to comments.March 7,1975 Senate Votes Easier Cutoff Of Filibuster; Democrats change filibuster with 56 votes
Posted on 05/18/2005 9:28:02 PM PDT by TheEaglehasLanded
The Senate approved a historic change in the filibuster rule last night after seven weeks of angry debate. It voted 56 to 27 to reduce the number of senators needed to cut off a filibuster from two-thirds of those present and voting to a permanent "constitutional" threefifths (60 senators).
filibuster: from the French; "filbustier", n. meaning "pirate, freebooter, buccaneer, brigand."
I think Rush has already talked about this.
This was the rule change in the 70's (submitted by Byrd?) that reduced the number of Senate votes needed to invoke cloture from 2/3 to 3/5.
In 1975 the Senators changed the filibuster requirement from 67 votes to 60, after concluding that it only takes a simple majority of Senators to change the rules governing their proceedings. As Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-MT) said at the time: "We cannot allow a minority" of the senators "to grab the Senate by the throat and hold it there." Senators Leahy, Kennedy, Byrd, and Biden, all agreed. Nearly a decade ago, Lloyd Cutler, the former White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton, concluded that the Senate Rule requiring a super-majority vote to change the rule is "plainly unconstitutional.""
"The Senate approved a historic change in the filibuster rule last night after seven weeks of angry debate. It voted 56 to 27 to reduce the number of senators needed to cut off a filibuster from two-thirds of those present and voting to a permanent "constitutional" three-fifths (60 senators)."
This change was even more extreme than it seems at first glance... it did not merely change the cloture threshold from 67 to 60... it changed it from a RELATIVE PERCENTAGE to an ABSOLUTE PERSENTAGE!
Note the phrase "two-thirds of those present and voting". That meant that cloture could be voted by as few as 34 Senators... two-thirds of the official Senate Quorum of 51 Senators!!! They didn't LOWER THE BAR... they RAISED IT!
The Washington Post was spinning the truth even in 1975. This article should read:
"The Senate approved a historic change in the filibuster rule last night after seven weeks of angry debate. It voted 56 to 27 to INCREASE the number of senators needed to cut off a filibuster from two-thirds of those present and voting, (34 senators of the Senate's quorum of 51), to a permanent "constitutional" three-fifths (60 senators)."
The Northern and Southern Armies ran on Coffee during the Civil War, hardly 100 years after Washington & Jefferson.
So sorry but you have the wrong example. Apparently what happened was that the rule was changed by a majority vote and then the Senate went back and fixed it up with a revote to get the two-third vote.
I don't think their is enough good will left in the Senate to do that this time.
McCain was a POW in 73,Stayed in the Navy til 81, and was first elected to the Senate in 85.
Rush talked about this this week. The change from 67 votes to 60 rule change.
Meeky, have you seen this??????
And for those freepers who have been screaming for a "real filibuster" this is an important point as to why it hasn't happened since 1975.
The minority party only needs to keep one person in the Senate now, whereas the majority party needs to keep at least 50 present during a filibuster. That's definitely a greater hurdle for the majority party.
With the old rules, the minority party always had to keep at least 2/3 of members present, which at 50 means at least 26 to keep it from passing. That represents a greater hardship. In addition, it allowed the majority party to have fewer people there and still maintain a quorum.
McStain wasn't elected to Congress until 1982 and won his Senate seat in 1986. In those days Arizona had a *real conservative* Senator, Barry Goldwater. :)
in that case sir, you have my sympathies
No. First I've heard of this.
You're right on the money...that's the part that often gets overlooked. It means the margin between quorum and overrule is slim...allowing dissenters to walk out to avoid cloture.
The more philosophical import of this is that it provides DISincentive to continuing discussion and debate. Our Senate is supposed to be deliberative, but this rule change made it a smart move to leave the Senate to get your way.
RS20801 - December 11, 2002 - Cloture Attempts on Nominations
RL30360 - March 28, 2003 - Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate
RL32843 - March 28, 2005- "Entrenchment" of Senate Procedure and the "Nuclear" Option
RL31948 - March 29, 2005 - Evolution of Senate's Role in Nomination/Confirmation
RL32684 - April 5, 2005 - Changing Senate Rules - The "Nuclear" Option
You may misunderstand the cloture process, which is the general subject of the topic article. The cloture vote is scheduled at a time certain. It is impossible to "spring it" using surprise. Actually, all votes in the Senate are scheduled using either unanimous consent or cloture.
http://rules.senate.gov/senaterules/rule22.htm <-- The Cloture Rule
QUORUM - ABSENT SENATORS MAY BE SENT FOR