Friday, February 12, 2010

Stop the GOP Filibastards

Too much is enough, according to Nancy Pelosi.

filibuster_chart In an interview with Roll Call [sub req] Nancy Pelosi makes the case for using a "majority vote," or reconciliation, for getting healthcare reform done.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is pinning the blame on Republicans for a lack of bipartisanship in Congress and plans to bypass them if they continue to oppose efforts to enact near-universal health care.

"A constitutional majority is 51 votes," Pelosi said in an interview Tuesday with Roll Call. "If in fact the Republicans are going to say nothing can be done except by 60 percent, then maybe we all should be elected with 60 percent. It isn’t legitimate in terms of passing legislation."


"There is some unease when you talk about, well, what’s happening to the initiatives to help the American people?" Pelosi said. "Is there never anything that can be done without 60 votes?"


[I]n her interview with Roll Call, Pelosi stopped short of saying the filibuster should be done away with altogether, but she used some of her bluntest language yet to defend the use of reconciliation as something that has been used with regularity by Republican and Democratic presidents alike.

"We have set the stage for that. It’s important for us to remind the American people of the inconsistency that the Republicans have in saying this is unusual. No, five times President Bush used it. ... This is what the Republicans did to pass their bills, their tax cuts for the rich," Pelosi said.

"It’s up to us to make sure the public knows that this is not extraordinary. And the public knows that a constitutional majority is 51. It would be a reflection on us if we could not convince people that this is not an unusual place to go."

And Pelosi complained about the never-ending filibusters by Senate Republicans going far beyond the health care debate.

"Yes, the filibuster has its place, it may even have its place in health care — it’s a very big issue. But does it have its place on every appointment and every piece of legislation? We have over 200 bills over there that haven’t been taken up. Most of them, 70 percent of them, were passed with over 50 Republican votes in the House. ...

"We haven’t gotten as much done as we should and one of those reasons is because of what the Republicans are doing. ... The American people have to make a judgment about the conduct of the Republicans in insisting on that on every vote, and the Democrats in the Senate have to deal with the challenge that they have."


Pelosi also said she is open to Republicans presenting new ideas at the Feb. 25 bipartisan health care summit called for by Obama, but she said she’s already seen the Republican health care alternative offered on the House floor and said it only provided insurance for an additional 3 million people instead of the more than 30 million in the Democratic bill.

It's an important political message to set up going into the February 25 meeting--Republicans not only have obstructed the process every step of the way. The summit is pretty unlikely to change that dynamic, and the summit can be used, if Obama and Reid are willing to go along with Pelosi in this messaging, to get the bill done through reconciliation… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

It’s certainly time for reconciliation, but more.  Rachel Maddow and Howard Dean make one of the best cases I have heard for ending the filibuster.


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This bill will never pass, because the GOP will filibuster it.  But it only takes 51 votes to change the Senate rules if they do so on the first day of the next new session in January.

Off Topic:  I’m adding a new feature to the daily Open Thread. Short Takes are brief news references with links.  Cjeck it out.


the walking man said...

There may have at one time been some honor in politics but that time is long past and now we are scraping the barrel bottom for a way forward.

I never was one who thought a knife could beat a gun. If the filibuster abuse is what they bring to the table then while there is still a majority in both houses bring out all of the guns and fire. Then when the republitards have the houses back they can appeal to the courts or try to force amending legislation. Will the demodopes have learned by then, will they too rise to obstruct change back to the old pattern of Reaganomics? History says no they won't.

But if everyone of them not retiring is going to be concerned with their own career before my well being they all can go to hell and eat the flame there.

MadMike said...

This is just so depressing. All of it. Our government. The arcane rules. The predictions for 2010. The seemingly lame and uninspired leadership of a president who offered so much but delivered so little. This is just so depressing.

Holte Ender said...

Considering that the Filibuster rule is just that, a "rule" and not part of any Constitutional law, change the rule, but it doesn't surprise me that the Democrats won't use their majority to overturn the rule, they are worried they might need it in the future.

Vigilante said...

Filibastards! Perfect! Nuke 'em!

Infidel753 said...

I've been saying this since last year. Until they get rid of the filibuster, it will be almost impossible to get anything done.

According to Obama, more filibusters had to be broken in 2009 alone than in all the 1950s and 1960s combined. The Republicans have carried out the legislative equivalent of Pearl Harbor, and it serves them right if they get nuked in return.

TomCat said...

Mark, the irony is that 'nothing' is the worst thing they could do for their careers.

Hang in their, Mike. The time for you and I to giv up is three days after they nail down our lids.

Holte, they have to abide by the current 'rule' unless they can overturn it with a 67 vote supermajority. However, on the first day of each session, the 'rule' can be changed with a simple majority, and that vote may not be filibustered.

Glad you like it, Vig.

Infidel, there were 139 filibusters in the 110th Congress. So far in the 111th, there have been 74, and and it's barely half over.

Beekeepers Apprentice said...

So, whatever happened with that Nuclear Option that Cheney was always threatening the Senate with? I wonder about that.

TomCat, I love the memorial to Brother Tim :)

TomCat said...

Bee, if memory serves, seven Republicans and seven Democrats firmed the 'gang of fourteen'. The Democrats agreed to vote against filibuster on Dubya's nominees, the Republicans agreed to vote against the nuclear option. The filibuster remained and we got Roberts and Scalito. We came out with the fuzzy end of that lollipop.

Thank you so much. He should serve as an example to us all.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

ditto Vigil. got to say, "polls" are telling that Americans don't actually want this version of HCR. They want the one the House proposed. Hope we get it.

TomCat said...

Gwen, I think they want what Obama campaigned on. The House version is better than the Senate version, but Stupid Stupak threw in a big monkey wrench.