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View Diary: Today in Congress: deregulation dressed up as 'jobs' bills; filibuster dysfunction metastasizes (17 comments)

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  •  that is small bore (1+ / 0-)
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    Stwriley

    As it has been a while since I was using any parliamentary procedure, I want to make sure I've got what you're saying straight.

    The cloture vote is a procedural vote on whether to end debate and vote on the motion to proceed.

    The motion to proceed, if I recall, is a motion on whether to proceed with debate on the proposed legislation.  If I'm not mistaken about that, then I do think making this non-debatable is a good idea.  Debate ought to be saved for the actual debate on the legislation.

    I guess I would like to know this:  if my understanding is correct (and it very well may not be), what is the harm in allowing the minority party to move to proceed?  If they offer a motion that can't be debated, it seems there are two possible outcomes.  Either the motion fails altogether and there is no proceeding to debate, or the motion passes and the legislation fails to win passage from the majority.

    Although, I suppose that scheme would allow for a totally novel way of obstructing business in the Senate:  the introduction of frivolous legislation to prevent the majority from addressing their agenda.

    Is that [time wasting] the main harm to done by the minority offering motions to proceed?  Or, are there others I'm not thinking of?

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