Julian E. Zelizer: Senate Should Let Majority Rule
Suddenly no one is talking about Congress as the "broken branch" of government any more.
Conservatives are complaining that the 111th Congress did too much, while liberals are boasting about all that was accomplished.
Within the span of a month, the media discussion shifted from the chronic complaints about partisan gridlock to, lo and behold, claims that this was the most productive Congress since the mid-1960s. Everything seems just fine on Capitol Hill.
The recent legislative success will create problems for Senate Democrats when they push for filibuster reform as soon as Congress reconvenes this week. The details of the upcoming reform package are still unknown. Based on most reports, the reforms are rather mild in that they don't attempt to lower the number of senators required to end a filibuster (currently 60).
Rather, the reforms are expected to focus on increasing the cost of launching a filibuster. Senators would actually have to stand on the floor, Mr. Smith style, and the Senate would be unable to work on other business while a filibuster is taking place. The reforms will probably attempt to end secretive practices such as the "hold," which enables senators to anonymously block legislation from being debated....
Some opponents of reform will certainly ask, given the recent coverage of the historic 111th Congress, whether procedural changes are really needed. Shouldn't senators just leave things alone?
End of the filibuster?
The past three decades of congressional history have been marked by a filibuster frenzy.
The answer is no. The past three decades of congressional history have been marked by a filibuster frenzy. The most striking characteristic of the modern Senate is that members now assume that 60 votes are required to pass almost any legislation....
comments powered by Disqus
Arnold Shcherban - 1/10/2011
And what to do if some states will decide, e.g., to revive slavery or/and eradicate mentally ill?
Ephraiyim ben Yisrael - 1/9/2011
The only way to get Congress under any sort of control is to repeal the 17th Amendment. Place the Senators back under the control of state legislators. So long as the Senate is a popularity contest we will continue to have problems with political B***S**t.
- New documentary explores the legacy of the 5,000 Rosenwald schools set up by a Sears magnate and Booker T. Washington
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- It happened in Idaho and was the largest massacre of Indians in US history, but where exactly did it take place?
- Junípero Serra’s Missions Destroyed Entire Native Cultures. And Now He’s Going to Be a Saint.
- Isis destruction of Palmyra's Temple of Bel revealed in satellite images
- Two scholars from UT object to the Texas school's decision to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis
- A history professor explains why Americans are so prone to conspiracy theories
- Now Greg Grandin has come out with a study of Henry Kissinger
- Japanese historian upends the familiar narrative of WW 2 by taking a bottom up approach, focusing on fascism from the grassroots
- Holocaust-denying historian David Irving organises 'disgusting' £2,000-a-head holiday tours of former concentration camps and Hitler's HQ so people can 'make up their own mind about the truth'