Who's Afraid of Mitch McConnell?

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  1. PrettyPanther profile image84
    PrettyPantherposted 4 weeks ago

    https://gregolear.substack.com/p/whos-a … WcDLsbQlHU



    "The Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate. To disarm Mitch, all MVP Kamala Harris has to do is follow the Constitution"

    I found this to be very interesting and would love to hear thoughts from those of you who have more knowledge than I do about such matters. Credence? GA?

    1. Credence2 profile image81
      Credence2posted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

      Panther,

      I only wished that Biden had played the more active role during Obama's term.

      Taking back what was once delegated is a great idea and will make VP Harris one busy battle ax. McConnell is going to chafe, but putting him under pressure has to have a positive outcome. VP Harris will have to keep her thumb on McConnell and not let him intimidate her.

      We can stop McConnell from single handedly and arrogantly sitting on legislation.

      This is good and will help take the wind from his sails.

      But in the current world of extreme partisanship, I see a Republican Party who has hardly acknowledged that Biden/Harris wins after over a month, as not being cooperative short of their having a pistol to their heads. Obstruction to a man or woman is the new reality. Harris cannot totally stop GOP obstruction if all GOP vote against the Biden agenda in lockstep. And the way that they have behaved lately, that is what I anticipate. So, I want those two Senators in Georgia to be Democrats as the most certain assurance that Biden can hit the  ground running on January 20th.

      But, I welcome any option that mitigates McConnell power in Congress, even if we are short on ability to take over majority in the Senate.

      1. PrettyPanther profile image84
        PrettyPantherposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

        I am still hoping for the Senate win in Georgia but should it go the other way, I hope VP Harris will exercise her constitutional powers to stop McConnell's obstruction.

        1. Credence2 profile image81
          Credence2posted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

          This may well be an overlooked Constitutional "check and balance" provision that can be used by the Executive Branch relative to the Legislative one.

          Well, if there were ever a time to bring it out of mothballs, it is now.

          1. PrettyPanther profile image84
            PrettyPantherposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

            Yep, you can bet if the roles were reversed that the GOP would use whatever legal means they could so I'm in favor of using this option to stop the ridiculous gridlock that has gone on for far too long.

        2. GA Anderson profile image93
          GA Andersonposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

          You may be premature in believing the author's contention that the VP does have such "Constitutional powers." I strongly believe such actions would get a SCOTUS review, and I don't think, (just my opinion), that such powers would be recognized as the intentions of the Framers.

          GA

          1. PrettyPanther profile image84
            PrettyPantherposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

            I freely admit I have no expertise in this area. It appears you and credence, who I both trust in this regard, disagree?

            I hope the author and credence know what they're talking about. :-)

            1. Credence2 profile image81
              Credence2posted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

              I am not a Constutional Law scholar, but I believe that there is room for the interpretation of the author regardless, if he is taking a partisan tack. Please see my response to GA.

            2. GA Anderson profile image93
              GA Andersonposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

              Yes, Cred and I do differ on whether this would be a SCOTUS-interpreted Constitutional issue, but we don't disagree on the negative impact of the current Majority Leader's, (any Majority Leader), power to control the Senate's actions.

              We just have different opinions on the path to address that problem. I do not want to give the executive branch any power—beyond the power of veto, over our legislative branches. The voice of the people, (the House), and the wisdom of the states, (the Senate), should not be subordinated to the popular choice of the people, (the Executive branch).

              GA

              1. Credence2 profile image81
                Credence2posted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

                Gee, GA, the advise and consent provision allows the Senate and the majority leader to basically control all of Biden's Cabinet appointments. Every branch has checks and balances that apply to them and I like it that way.

                The check I speak about would at least require the Senate to bring legislation to the floor for a vote and not have any one person hold up the "people's business" for solely political reasons.

      2. GA Anderson profile image93
        GA Andersonposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

        You appear to be supportive of executive branch control of a legislative branch of our Congress. Are you sure you want that?

        Would you still support that with a Republican VP and a Democrat Senate?

        GA

        1. Credence2 profile image81
          Credence2posted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

          https://www.legislativeprocedure.com/bl … majorities

          Yes, this speaks of the provision in the Constitution that allow the Vice President to take more than just a tie breaking role. And the Constitution is explicit regarding the authority of the "presiding officer, there can be nothing to interpret by bringing such a question to the Supreme Court.
          ----
          "But in the Senate, the Constitution makes it unlikely that members will do the same because it charges the Vice President with administering the institution’s rules and ensuring order in the legislative process."
          -------
          That is all I need to get McConnell or any "majority leader from gumming up the works with sheer partisanship and that can apply to either side. We may well not be able to do nothing if the VP and the SML are of the same party. But, we can and should exercise that authority in this case. After all did not McConnel make a distinction for withholding Obama's SCselection while not applying the same rule consistently base on some rot about the majority leader of one party can ignore the SC picks from the Executive of the other?

          This is not vengeance but working within the law to our advantage, everybody else does. We are authorized to use the law and work within the terms of the Constitution and I don't give a damn about custom, to curb the obstruction. That is exactly what I want VP Harris to do.

          1. GA Anderson profile image93
            GA Andersonposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

            I strongly disagree with you Cred. Not because I am defending McConnell, (or any majority leader), because I am not. Like you, I don't like the 'supreme' power that has matriculated to that position.

            But, more importantly, for me, I don't want any executive branch machinations to be able to control one of our legislative branches.

            Just imagine a VP Harris extreme—she could control all of the Senate's actions, (if your and PrettyPanther's author's thoughts are correct), except for the actual votes. I will ask again, do you really want any executive branch to have that power over a legislative branch?

            Also, even in my limited walk-about, I am not as sure as you seem to be that this wouldn't be a Constitutional issue that would be put to SCOTUS. I am not as confident as you with your interpretation of the Constitution's wording or intent.

            GA

            1. PrettyPanther profile image84
              PrettyPantherposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

              Could you give an example of how it would be a very bad thing?

            2. Credence2 profile image81
              Credence2posted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

              I don't consider ensuring an orderly process as being "control", the members still vote independently. But, I prefer this "check" over endless obstruction without challenge by one individual SML. That is too much power with far reaching effects for which I cannot abide.

              We will have to agree to disagree on this one.

              1. PrettyPanther profile image84
                PrettyPantherposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

                It is hard for me to imagine a result from this scenario  that would be worse than the ongoing obstruction that has occurred over the last few years. Presumably, control by the VP would only change things if the Executive and Senate are controlled by opposing parties. So, as you say, in this case, Republicans would still have the majority vote. They would simply have to actually exercise that vote more than otherwise. I can't imagine how that would be so bad, but maybe GA will come up with an example that would help me better understand how that would be a bad thing.

    2. GA Anderson profile image93
      GA Andersonposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

      I followed your link, and must admit that when I ran across this blurb in the first part of the opinion article:

      ". . . while Trump blithely cages infants and doles out needed medicines and hospital beds to his crime cronies."

      . . . the credibility of the author's view was immediately diminished.

      However, following his thought, that as the Presiding Officer of the Senate, the Vice President, could control floor access to Senators is beyond my Constitutional understanding. Google results tell me that this thought is contrary to both historical and modern political traditions of the Vice President's Senate role. Almost all traditional references were to the VP's tie-breaking power only.

      In the one reference I found relative to a VP being more involved in Senate procedures, (this was relative to VP Agnew), it turned out that this was a no-go. Agnew retreated to his executive branch duties after being rebuffed for his Senate procedure incursions.

      So I can't say whether the author is right or wrong, but it appears that, historically, his thought is 'non-conventional'.

      But, with those thoughts in mind, I would not disagree with the criticisms of the partisan powers held by the Senate majority leader. In this case, it is a Republican, McConnell, but I disagree with that power regardless of who is the majority leader. Unfortunately, for me, I also disagree with the premise of the VP exercising more power in the function of the Senate. I see the VP as an executive branch position and I do not think it is an appropriate thing to have this type of executive branch power influencing one of our legislative branch houses.

      Of course, all that is no more than my opinion. My 2-cents, but I think my reasoning is more valid than your linked authors. His seems a purely partisan opportunistic interpretation.

      GA

  2. Kathleen Cochran profile image80
    Kathleen Cochranposted 4 weeks ago

    PP: From your mouth to God's ears. I've already voted in Georgia and here's hoping. If you look at the breakdown of votes in the general election by county, about 50 counties the vote went one way or the other by ONE VOTE. Nothing is a given here.

    1. PrettyPanther profile image84
      PrettyPantherposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

      Wow, Oregon used to be purple and very close but eventually went blue. Georgia is on its way!

 
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