Skip to comments.It's Time to Get Rid of the Legislative Filibuster
Posted on 05/04/2017 6:38:21 AM PDT by Kaslin
Congress is preparing to pass an Omnibus spending bill that will fund the government through the rest of fiscal year 2017. Democrats love the bill because it fully funds Planned Parenthood and specifically omits many of President Trump's legislative priorities, such as funding for his proposed border wall with Mexico.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi undoubtedly spoke for most Democrats when she praised the bill on Monday:
We have eliminated more than 160 Republican poison pill riders, ranging from undermining a womans right to reproductive health to dismantling Dodd-Franks vital Wall Street consumer protections... The omnibus does not fund President Trumps immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force.
So why are Republicans rushing to pass a budget that Democrats love?
Well, as Breitbart reports, Speaker Paul Ryan wants a bill that will pass the Senate. The Omnibus package requires 60 votes in the Senate to override the legislative filibuster, and Democrats are prepared to use the filibuster to block all of President Trump's legislative priorities even if it means shutting down the government, as it would in this case if a funding package isnt passed by Friday at midnight.
Republicans know this, so instead of seeking a government shutdown fight (which scares the heck out of them), they are capitulating on Omnibus now and promising to defund Planned Parenthood and pass other legislative priorities later via the reconciliation process, which would only require 51 votes in the Senate.
This presents a real problem — not everything can be passed via the reconciliation process. So if Democrats are willing to filibuster anything and everything, what do Republicans do with other legislative priorities?
Republicans have a small window here — perhaps only two years — to deliver on their campaign promises. The voters are expecting the GOP to Make America Great Again as President Trump vowed on the campaign trail, so what happens if the Democrats filibuster and block tax reform? Health care reform? Immigration enforcement? Infrastructure? Trade reform?
Are Republicans really going to sit back and let the Democratic minority sabotage a once in a lifetime opportunity granted to them by the voters?
Here's an idea: stop capitulating. Stop empowering the petulant Democratic minority whom the American people voted out of power. End the legislative filibuster, as President Trump suggested in a tweet on Tuesday.
The filibuster may have served a purpose once upon a time as a tool to build consensus, but this isnt your grandmas Democratic Party. This is the protest party, the resist party, the real party of No!
Democrats have no intention to compromise at any point in the conceivable future. The only acceptable compromise will be when Republicans completely and utterly capitulate, giving Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer the final say on which bills the Republicans actually pass.
Unless GOP leaders get rid of the legislative filibuster.
Many have argued that eliminating the filibuster would be short-sighted, and that Republicans would regret it at some point in the future if/when they find themselves in the minority. But shouldnt we be skeptical of this argument? After all, this is the Republican Party we're talking about. When have they been willing to filibuster and risk a government shutdown if it meant putting themselves at risk politically?
The filibuster is a useful weapon for the minority only if theyre willing to use it. Democrats have indicated they are always willing to use it — to the point of obstructing every facet of the Republican agenda. Republicans dont have the political willpower, let alone the party unity required to stand up for conviction against Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media. When it comes down to it, Republicans in their current condition simply arent capable of winning a game of chicken against the Democrats.
And this is all a moot point anyway. Even if a future minority GOP managed to find a backbone, there's no doubt that future Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer would get rid of the filibuster in a heartbeat to pass a progressive agenda.
Time is ticking for Republicans. President Trump ran on a bold Make America Great Again agenda. Senate Republicans shocked the world by maintaining their majority. It would be political malpractice if they allowed Senate traditions from bygone eras and a bunch of petulant Senate Democrats to stop them from following through on their campaign promises.
I agree completely. However, it is not going to happen.
The problem isn’t so much Democrats as some Republicans. We all know where the Democrats stand on the various issues. We have a GOP majority in the senate, but a number of GOP senators oppose eliminating the fillibuster. I suspect they secretly share more in common with Democrats than conservatives, so the fillibuster is—in their minds—something that can both give them political cover in the GOP as well as prevent conservatives from having a say.
The 60 vote Senate rule is totally ridiculous and out of date. It is time for Mitchell to bite the bullet and get rid of it. They will never get tax reform unless they get rid of this archaic rule AKA: “The Byrd Rule” named after former West VA Senator Robert Byrd.
The filibuster worked well when most senators were working in good faith to get the best for their constituents. Compromise is a good thing in that situation to keep the minority from getting screwed.
But, when senators are working for their party rather than their constituents and the party is working for donors, the filibuster is not a good idea. It’s a tool the minority uses in bad faith negotiations in hopes of disappointing the majority of the voters to win the next election.
He should have gotten rid of it as soon as he became majority leader, just like dingy Harry Reid did in 2007.
Mitchell is an Establishment guy. Keeping the rule allows him to blame the Democrats for not passing legislation that he “REALLY” opposes. It provides him cover from criticism within his own Caucus and Party. If he gets rid of the rule, it will only be because of intense pressure to do so. Stay Tuned!
The days of the filibuster are numbered. Republicans can either end it now or they can wait for the democrats to end it when they take control of the senate again.
Not so sure this is a good idea.
I wonder if getting rid of the filibuster is along the lines of finishing off the Sinate, work that began with the 17thA.
No filibuster makes the Sinate just another House, and this would be the final straw.
The Sinate is indeed broken, but I think the proper fix is repeal of the 17th, to turn it back into a Senate. That means it will take awhile, and needs a Convention of States to accomplish.
Exactly right and very well stated!
See my post #6 to Freeper Old Retired Army Guy.
I dunno. I don’t think you can trust the electorate to understand that 51 dem senators will get your 401K plan confiscated by the government just like they hijacked our healthcare.
I don’t think the problem is necessarily that republicans are spineless (although they probably are) and can’t find a way to completely rollback ACA. I think the problem was the electoral temper tantrum that “we, the people” had in 2008. we actually got lucky that the obamites were as incompetent as they were; the carnage could have been much worse.
generally, I think we keep blaming politicians for the electoral decisions we make.
Slippery slope to eliminate the Electoral College.
Remember when Obamacare was rammed down our throats at 3 am on a Sunday morning, and because the Dims had a filibuster-proof majority there was nothing we could do about it?
Now imagine a not-so-distant future where the Dims can do the exact same thing on any subject, including gun control, with just a 50-50 tie in the Senate and a Dim Vice President tie-breaker.
No, this way lies folly, and people are being much too short-sighted to see it. Get rid if the filibuster altogether, and you may as well also get rid if the Senate entirely. It will become just another House.
Maybe replace them with Bellybusters those sound tasty.
I swear the Republican senators must be the type of parents who give their kids a candy bar when they were threaten to hold their breaths.
So why are Republicans rushing to pass a budget that Democrats love?
They don’t love it. They are spinning it to fool their constituents and create discontent among Trump’s supporters.
Its not going to happen, what will happen is more ranting against McConnell and Ryan. But Trump's OK, the master negotiator apparently got rolled.
McConnell wouldn't have the votes to do this and the GOP in the Senate will not replace him with someone who will.
First, historical lore says that the filibuster was part of the original design of the Senate. Not true. When we scour early Senate history, we discover that the filibuster was created by mistake.