Why All The Fuss Over The Filibuster ?

  1. Sharlee01 profile image84
    Sharlee01posted 23 months ago

    In Biden's first address to Congress, he certainly laid out a very aggressive, not to mention expensive agenda. From the New green deal to a huge infrastructure spending proposal. His speech weighed heavily on promises of all kinds of goodies. 

    The Democrat's work has just begun. At this point, the  Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House. They have a lofty load of progressive legislation to offer up,  which includes democracy reforms, universal health care, climate change legislation, and immigration reforms. However, there is one stumbling block that one might say is taller than Trump's golden wall...  That would be the filibuster. To accomplish anything the Filibuster must be abolished.

    As the Senate’s rules exist today, Republicans in the Senate will still have the power to block every single progressive priority that comes before them, by using the filibuster, which requires at a minimum 60 votes to advance legislation.

    In my view the writing is on the wall ---  none of the progressive issues that Democratic leaders are discussing today will become law if the Republicans use the filibuster protocol.   Unless the Democrats make an attempt to change the rules and get rid of the filibuster.

    The filibuster is a simple procedural mechanism that allows the minority party to block legislation from advancing in the Senate. The filibuster is the ability to keep debate open on a legislative item until the Senate votes to close it. Closing a debate requires 60 votes, instead of the usual 50, and if you don’t have 60 votes, you can’t move to final voting. The practical result – in an era when both sides are playing legislative hardball – is that you need to either get 60 votes or bypass the filibuster to accomplish anything.   

    For most of the Senate’s 230-year history, legislation was passed with simple majorities. Even after the filibuster was created in the early 1800s, its use was rare. That changed in the second half of the 20th century when the filibuster was increasingly used by both parties to block legislation. Both parties have used the filibuster to cause gridlock, it has clearly become a weapon to a greater extent than ever before in order to kill pieces of legislation. An important thing to remember is that the filibuster is not required by the Constitution.

    The filibuster has been amended repeatedly, today it is actually much weaker than the original filibuster. Over the course of the last 100 or so years, the filibuster has been repeatedly weakened to avoid total gridlock and dysfunction.  In 1917, the Senate instituted a means for officially cutting off debate through a supermajority vote. Before this, there was no means of stopping a filibuster at all. With this change, cutting off debate now required two-thirds of all senators.

    In 1974, the Senate eliminated the filibuster for budget bills meeting certain requirements (a legislative process called “reconciliation”).

    In 1975, the Senate lowered the thresholds for ending a filibuster to 60 Senators.

    In 2013, the Senate eliminated the filibuster entirely for federal executive branch appointees and judicial appointments, other than the Supreme Court.

    In 2017, the Senate eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.

    At this point, the Democrats are considering doing away with the filibuster.  Eliminating the filibuster is actually simple. All it takes to eliminate the filibuster is a simple majority vote in the Senate — and this can be done at any time. Mitch McConnell, can then initiates a filibuster. Democrats can then hold a vote, and with just 50 votes eliminate the filibuster and prevent McConnell from vetoing the legislation.

    Will the Democrats deal with risk-averse in regard to getting rid of the filibuster? One might keep in mind some members of Congress often take the path of status quo, that in some incidents serve their political careers better to keep status quo rather than take bold action.

    Do you feel the Democrats will do away with the filibuster?

    If so,  without the filibuster safeguard protocol how will it affect Governing in general?

    Will doing away with the filibuster severely change America's Democracy?

    1. Sharlee01 profile image84
      Sharlee01posted 23 months agoin reply to this

      Hey, anyone concerned about all the earmarks  (pork) being added to Joe's Infrastructure bill?   It's astronomical!

      Makes me wonder what we would do without the filibuster at this point to stop this kind of legislature. Not sure when Americans are going to wake up and realize at this point we are printing money to pay for all this BS. And that this kind of spending will ultimately, and quickly devalue our dollar.  Inflation has already poked up its ugly head in gas prices, and consumer goods of all kinds. And Biden has only been in office a couple of months.  Inflation is not sneaking up, it's stampeding. 

      Any thoughts on Joe's infrastructure bill, and the obvious need for the filibuster to stop this kind of fluffy pork rine spending?


  2. gmwilliams profile image83
    gmwilliamsposted 23 months ago

    If the Democrats have their way, America will be bankrupt because of their inane policies.   I sincerely hope that McConnell DOES INITIATE A FILIBUSTER.  The Democrats need to be contained like wild rabid dogs.  The Democrats are OUT OF CONTROL.


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