Thursday, November 8, 2012
RTAmerica: The Big Picture: Thom Hartmann: "Harry Fix the Filibuster Now!"
First I just want to correct the record of something that Thom Hartmann said, when he said that there's. Nowhere in the US Constitution that says that Senate can filibuster, implying that the Senate filibuster is Unconstitutional. I have a hard time believing that someone as knowledgeable about the these issues actually believes that but assuming for the purpose of this blog. That Thom Hartmann actually believes that, the fact is the US Constitution grants Congress the right to. Write their own rules, that includes the House and Senate, Republicans back when they controlled the Senate. The last time from 2005-07 were arguing that the Senate filibuster was Unconstitutional, when Senate Democrats used it to block President Bush's. Judicial appointments, again they were wrong to there are actually times that Democrats and Republicans are wrong about the. Same issue, surprise surprise perhaps you need a drink to get over the shock from that but that actually happens. Congress simply has the ability and power twith far reaching rules that other institutions simply don't have, one reason why. Representatives and Senators stay there so long.
Another thing about this Progressive opposition to the Senate filibuster, my memory actually goes back. 8-10 years When Republicans controlled both Chambers of Congress and the Presidency and Senate Republicans. Were moving to limit or cut off the filibuster back in 2005, after Republicans won a big but close victory in 2004. President Bush being reelected and House and Senate Republicans both adding seats to their majorities but with. Senate Democrats still having forty five seats to essentially block anything from Senate Republicans that they saw as. Completely unacceptable and Democrats were arguing that of course we can't limit or end the filibuster. Because its a check against abusive power when one party controls the Presidency and Congress, guess what Democrats were right then. And Republicans are right today when they make that same argument, another shocking fact that Democrats and Republicans at times are. Also right about the same issue as well and you wonder why we have a divided Congress today.
Do we need to reform the Senate filibuster, is this something that Leader Harry Reid should be pushing. For in the next Congress, of course we should but before we try to do that, we need to know that advantages and disadvantages of the filibuster. Advantage that it stops abuses of power when one party control the White House and Congress, disadvantage it can actually stop. Good legislation from passing again when we have united Government, President and Congress from the same party. So what we need to do is to keep what's good about the filibuster but limit how its used or even get rid of it but replace it with something better. By making the Leader and Minority Leader more powerful, the Minority Leader being able to offer substitutes. To everything that the Leader brings up but the Minority Leader could only block final passage.
If we just limited the filibuster if we were to keep to final passage, meaning only the final products of bills. Could be blocked but amendments that are relevant and pass through the Rules Committee that are offered to bills would no longer be able to be filibustered. Including substitutes to bills, I believe we would see less filibustering because the majority would no. Longer be able to say take it or leave it, we are going to pass the exact bill or do nothing, because. The minority would at least be able to influence what passes and what doesn't pass, at least be able to offer their own ideas to legislation.