Julian E. Zelizer: Senate Should Let Majority RuleRoundup: Historians' Take
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.
- Letters collection offers unique gimplse into ordeal of Australian aborigines
- War, More Than ISIS, Is Destroying Syria's Ancient Sites
- Pew Poll: Trust in government is at historic lows
- If "The Donald" Said It Happened, It Happened! And Don't You Forget It!
- Solved: the mystery of Britain’s Bronze Age mummies
- Anne Frank Faced Challenges Similar to Syrian Refugees, Richard Breitman Says
- Douglass North, Nobel Prize-winning economics historian, dies at 95
- Craig Shirley says Ted Cruz is right and the Huffington Post wrong about Ronald Reagan’s 1980 Presidential Campaign
- Mystery at Notre Dame: A priest-historian has been forced to back off a project promoting authentic Catholic education
- William & Mary launching a gay history project