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Tue Apr 6, 2021, 03:26 PM

On the filibuster's future, Arizona's Sinema makes a flawed case



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Rachel Maddow MSNBC
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"I read this paragraph several times, trying to better understand where Senator Sinema is coming from, but it's a difficult perspective to understand..."

On the filibuster's future, Arizona's Sinema makes a flawed case
What should happen when Republican senators are asked to "change their behavior," and they respond, "No"?
msnbc.com
12:20 PM · Apr 6, 2021


https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/filibuster-s-future-arizona-s-sinema-makes-flawed-case-n1263172

When it comes to efforts to reform the Senate's filibuster rules, proponents of institutional changes clearly have plenty of momentum. Many senators who, as recently as a few years ago, wanted to leave the chamber's status quo in place indefinitely have changed their minds.

But in the Senate Democratic conference, support for an overhaul is not yet universal. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) receives the bulk of the attention in this debate, in part because he's Congress' most conservative Democrat, and in part because he's been quite vocal in his opposition to major institutional changes.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), however, is every bit as opposed to filibuster reforms as Manchin -- and by some measures, more so. She just tends not to talk about it as much.

In early March, the Arizonan wrote a relatively long letter to a constituent, making the case for leaving the filibuster alone. It was good to see the senator tackle the issue in some detail, but Sinema's letter included suspect historical claims.

This week, the Democratic senator elaborated on her perspective to the Wall Street Journal.

"When you have a place that's broken and not working, and many would say that's the Senate today, I don't think the solution is to erode the rules," she said in an interview after two constituent events in Phoenix. "I think the solution is for senators to change their behavior and begin to work together, which is what the country wants us to do."


*snip*


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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 03:32 PM

1. But isn't it the rule that's broken, Kyrsten?

You're depending on a good faith response from Senate Republicans, and you might just as well expect a reptile to be warm-blooded.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 03:37 PM

2. But

I don't think the solution is to erode the rules


Too late. The Repubs have already eroded the rules. Pretty damn clueless statement.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 03:38 PM

3. Sinema and Manchin are using the filibuster as cover

 

so they don't have to vote against progressive bills.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 03:48 PM

4. Oh, I didn't know she was a dum...never mind. I didn't know she thought...

republicans are going to work with Dems to pass the infrastructure bill which will produce tens of thousands of good jobs and propelled Dems to mid-term gains in the House and Senate.

God. Is that naivete or what. "The country wants us to work together."

That's so sad. Has she been asleep since the Obama admin began the republican obstructionism to everything Democratic?

Stupid.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 04:16 PM

5. Indeed, Ma'am --- She Talks Flat Nonesense

The rules, this one in particular, are the problem, and exactly why the institution neither functions nor is able to function.

You can't repair the Senate without changing the rules to allow it to function.

The country does not give the south end of a northbound rat whether Senators work together. The country (including the people she wants voting again for her) wants legislation three quarters of the populace supports to be passed and signed into law. No one much cares how it's done, not outside the beltway press.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #5)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 07:58 PM

10. Sir, Sinema wants a 60 vote threshold for ALL Senate actions.



“I want to restore the 60-vote threshold for all elements of the Senate’s work”

https://www.vox.com/22319564/filibuster-reform-manchin-democrats-nuclear-option

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Response to Celerity (Reply #10)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 08:14 PM

11. The Men Who Wrote The Consitution, Ma'am, Specifically Ruled That Out

They noted correctly that it would empower a minority faction to impose its will on the majority.

Nor does this jury-rigged supermajority practice have any particularly long standing in Senate practice. The filibuster was not often employed, it certainly was not routine until early in this century, when the Senate was more than two hundred years old.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 08:27 PM

13. a fairly lengthy treatment on the filibuster (which was created by mistake in 1805/06)

Last edited Sat May 1, 2021, 12:41 AM - Edit history (1)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filibuster_in_the_United_States_Senate

The emergence of cloture (1917–1969)

In 1917, during World War I, a rule allowing cloture of a debate was adopted by the Senate on a 76–3 roll call vote at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson, after a group of 12 anti-war senators managed to kill a bill that would have allowed Wilson to arm merchant vessels in the face of unrestricted German submarine warfare.

From 1917 to 1949, the requirement for cloture was two-thirds of senators voting. Despite that formal requirement, however, political scientist David Mayhew has argued that in practice, it was unclear whether a filibuster could be sustained against majority opposition. The first cloture vote occurred in 1919 to end debate on the Treaty of Versailles, leading to the treaty's rejection against the wishes of the cloture rule's first champion, President Wilson. During the 1930s, Senator Huey Long of Louisiana used the filibuster to promote his populist policies. He recited Shakespeare and read out recipes for "pot-likkers" during his filibusters, which occupied 15 hours of debate. In 1946, five Southern Democrats — senators John H. Overton (LA), Richard B. Russell (GA), Millard E. Tydings (MD), Clyde R. Hoey (NC), and Kenneth McKellar (TN) — blocked a vote on a bill (S. 101) proposed by Democrat Dennis Chávez of New Mexico that would have created a permanent Fair Employment Practice Committee (FEPC) to prevent discrimination in the workplace. The filibuster lasted weeks, and Senator Chávez was forced to remove the bill from consideration after a failed cloture vote, even though he had enough votes to pass the bill.

In 1949, the Senate made invoking cloture more difficult by requiring two-thirds of the entire Senate membership to vote in favour of a cloture motion. Moreover, future proposals to change the Senate rules were themselves specifically exempted from being subject to cloture. In 1953, Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon set a record by filibustering for 22 hours and 26 minutes while protesting the Tidelands Oil legislation. Then Democratic Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina broke this record in 1957 by filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1957 for 24 hours and 18 minutes, although the bill ultimately passed. In 1959, anticipating more civil rights legislation, the Senate under the leadership of Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson restored the cloture threshold to two-thirds of those voting. Although the 1949 rule had eliminated cloture on rules changes themselves, Johnson acted at the very beginning of the new Congress on January 5, 1959, and the resolution was adopted by a 72–22 vote with the support of three top Democrats and three of the four top Republicans. The presiding officer, Vice President Richard Nixon, supported the move and stated his opinion that the Senate "has a constitutional right at the beginning of each new Congress to determine rules it desires to follow". The 1959 change also eliminated the 1949 exemption for rules changes, allowing cloture to once again be invoked on future changes.

One of the most notable filibusters of the 1960s occurred when Southern Democrats attempted to block the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by filibustering for 75 hours, including a 14-hour and 13 minute address by Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. The filibuster failed when the Senate invoked cloture for only the second time since 1927.From 1917 to 1970, the Senate took a cloture vote nearly once a year (on average); during this time, there were a total of 49 cloture votes.

The two-track system, 60-vote rule and rise of the routine filibuster (1970 onward)

After a series of filibusters in the 1960s over civil rights legislation, the Senate put a "two-track system" into place in 1970 under the leadership of Majority Leader Mike Mansfield and Majority Whip Robert Byrd. Before this system was introduced, a filibuster would stop the Senate from moving on to any other legislative activity. Tracking allows the majority leader—with unanimous consent or the agreement of the minority leader—to have more than one main motion pending on the floor as unfinished business. Under the two-track system, the Senate can have two or more pieces of legislation or nominations pending on the floor simultaneously by designating specific periods during the day when each one will be considered.

The notable side effect of this change was that by no longer bringing Senate business to a complete halt, filibusters on particular motions became politically easier for the minority to sustain. As a result, the number of filibusters began increasing rapidly, eventually leading to the modern era in which an effective supermajority requirement exists to pass legislation, with no practical requirement that the minority party actually hold the floor or extend debate.

In 1975, the Senate revised its cloture rule so that three-fifths of sworn senators (60 votes out of 100) could limit debate, except for changing Senate rules which still requires a two-thirds majority of those present and voting to invoke cloture. However, by returning to an absolute number of all Senators (60) rather than a proportion of those present and voting, the change also made any filibusters easier to sustain on the floor by a small number of senators from the minority party without requiring the presence of their minority colleagues. This further reduced the majority's leverage to force an issue through extended debate.

The Senate also experimented with a rule that removed the need to speak on the floor in order to filibuster (a "talking filibuster" ), thus allowing for "virtual filibusters". Another tactic, the post-cloture filibuster—which used points of order to delay legislation because they were not counted as part of the limited time allowed for debate—was rendered ineffective by a rule change in 1979.

As the filibuster has evolved from a rare practice that required holding the floor for extended periods into a routine 60-vote supermajority requirement, Senate leaders have increasingly used cloture motions as a regular tool to manage the flow of business, often even in the absence of a threatened filibuster. Thus, the presence or absence of cloture attempts is not necessarily a reliable indicator of the presence or absence of a threatened filibuster. Because filibustering does not depend on the use of any specific rules, whether a filibuster is present is always a matter of judgment.

Abolition for nominations: 2013 and 2017........

snip




now the origin actions that made it all possible was a stupid mistake made back in 1805/1806, but it never mattered at all until 1837, and again, the modern system only came about post 1917 to 1975

Senate Filibuster Was Created By Mistake (in 1805/1806)

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brookings-now/2013/11/20/senate-filibuster-was-created-by-mistake/

In 2010, Brookings Senior Fellow Sarah Binder, an expert on Congress and congressional history, testified to the Senate that “the filibuster was created by mistake.” We have many received wisdoms about the filibuster. However, most of them are not true. The most persistent myth is that the filibuster was part of the founding fathers’ constitutional vision for the Senate: It is said that the upper chamber was designed to be a slow-moving, deliberative body that cherished minority rights. In this version of history, the filibuster was a critical part of the framers’ Senate.

However, when we dig into the history of Congress, it seems that the filibuster was created by mistake. Let me explain. The House and Senate rulebooks in 1789 were nearly identical. Both rulebooks included what is known as the “previous question” motion. The House kept their motion, and today it empowers a simple majority to cut off debate. The Senate no longer has that rule on its books.

What happened to the Senate’s rule? In 1805, Vice President Aaron Burr was presiding over the Senate (freshly indicted for the murder of Alexander Hamilton), and he offered this advice. He said something like this. You are a great deliberative body. But a truly great Senate would have a cleaner rule book. Yours is a mess. You have lots of rules that do the same thing. And he singles out the previous question motion. Now, today, we know that a simple majority in the House can use the rule to cut off debate. But in 1805, neither chamber used the rule that way. Majorities were still experimenting with it. And so when Aaron Burr said, get rid of the previous question motion, the Senate didn’t think twice. When they met in 1806, they dropped the motion from the Senate rule book.

Why? Not because senators in 1806 sought to protect minority rights and extended debate. They got rid of the rule by mistake: Because Aaron Burr told them to. Once the rule was gone, senators still did not filibuster. Deletion of the rule made possible the filibuster because the Senate no longer had a rule that could have empowered a simple majority to cut off debate. It took several decades until the minority exploited the lax limits on debate, leading to the first real-live filibuster in 1837.

snip

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 04:19 PM

6. But it sounds so much clearer

with a curtsy and a thumbs down

✌🏻

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 04:20 PM

7. So it's easier to fix people than the rules by which the work place operate?

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 04:30 PM

8. I'm just going to go shoot myself now.

I'm feeling worse about this country right now than I did during most of the FG administration.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 06:11 PM

9. Does she not realize that the crazy repukes have a target on her when she runs for re-election ?

She needs to really do her job and do something for her constituents.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 08:20 PM

12. She will be the reason HR1 does not get passed.

Progressives in AZ are fed up with her.

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