Blogs > HNN > What ever happened to the filibuster?

Sep 22, 2007 1:05 pm

What ever happened to the filibuster?

The Democratic led Congress trails even George Bush in the polls. Apparently, much of the public expected some action on Iraq after the last election. Only wonks and subscribers to this website know that the new majority in the Senate is now 60. All a Republican has to do is to announce an intention to launch a filibuster and the legislation, even if it has 51 votes, is defeated. How about Harry Reid calling the opposition’s bluff and permitting a real filibuster to take place? He could reintroduce the Webb amendment that previously received 56 votes, and then let the Republicans begin filibustering on C-Span and even on cable news. At the least, the public, more interested in Britney and OJ, might finally understand that although a majority of senators has responded to its demands for a change in Iraq policy, the Republicans are not only blocking a vote on the issue but they are making it impossible for the Senate to go on about its other duties—aside from voting to condemn

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Mike A Mainello - 9/23/2007

The senators (both sides) don't have the toughness to conduct a real one.

Good luck on seeing one though.

Melvin Small - 9/22/2007

I was not discussing the role of the filibuster in protecting the rights of the minority. I just wanted to see a real one.

Mike A Mainello - 9/22/2007

Mr. Small, I remember when the roles were reversed and the republicans discussed this very issue the media came to the democrats rescue claiming the republicans were trying to squash debate and discussion.

Do you think the dems would receive the same coverage? I doubt it.

Also here is an article from the Harvard Crimson discussing the importance and moderating effect of the filibuster. Now the article was written with the thought that the republicans could achieve a 60 or more senate majority in 2006. I wonder if they still feel the same way now that the dems have the majority?