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View Diary: The Republicans Are To Blame For ALL Filibusters (32 comments)

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  •  If I understand the process (0+ / 0-)

    what Reid didn't do was to bring the filibuster rule before the body. He can't single-handedly change a rule. I believe that according to Senate rules, when a new session opens, rules can be modified by a simple majority, with no tie-breaking by the President of the Senate allowed. That means that a nominal 51 Senators would have to have approved a new rule. Were there 51 who would have voted for a specific new filibuster rule? If so, which rule are we talking about?

    If my feeble memory goes back to January, there were at least two major alternative proposals for a new rule that were being discussed, and actual commitments to them were very fuzzy. Did either of them actually have 51 votes? It was never completely clear. Various calculations were made to try to predict how the votes would go, but they were mere estimates, never hard commitments. Had Reid put them before the Senate, would either one of them have passed? It was impossible to say then, and of course even more impossible now.

    Furthermore, even if one of them had passed with all Democratic votes (called the nuclear option, if memory serves), this would virtually guarantee an equal and opposite Republican response once they held the majority again. The only lasting possibility would be to pass a rule with considerable support in both parties. That could happen some day, but it is likely to be pretty watered down, far from an elimination of the current one.

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