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View Diary: So what's up with "holds" in the Senate, anyway? (166 comments)

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  •  Kagro, I have a clarification question. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, Dragon5616

    So, when you say that the Senate doesn't get to proceed to other business during those 78 hours, does that really mean nothing else?

    Nothing else can be brought up?

    I've heard that some Senate rules were changed in the middle of the twentieth century by Democrats.  Being able to get the 78-hour clock running while other business is taken up might be one we should consider in the next session, no?  That is, if I'm understanding you correctly.

    Thanks for the demystification.

    •  They can take up other measures, but (7+ / 0-)

      it stops the clock.

      Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

      by ben masel on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 12:12:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, the rules were changed. (1+ / 0-)
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      The "two track" system was created to allow other business to move forward while the clock ran on other agenda items.

      Also, since unanimous consent agreements can waive or bend any rules you can get every Senator to agree to, you can do things like set one up so that time spent in adjournment counts against the clock. Why would a filibustering Senator agree to that? If he gets something he wants in exchange. Even something as simple as the chance to sit down and stop talking, without having the vote he's trying to prevent come up any earlier than it would have if he had kept the floor and lost a cloture vote.

      That's what happened during this latest round of FISA votes, by the way. Everyone knew that Dodd or anyone else would lose a cloture vote on the motion to proceed. But Reid and others agreed that rather than make Dodd stand there hold the floor for two days while the cloture motion ripened, and then hold it for the 30 post-cloture hours he was permitted, they'd all take a rest, pretend it happened, and agree not to move to the FISA bill itself any earlier than they would have gotten to it had Dodd actually physically occupied the floor. In exchange, they get to run the clock during adjournment and the consideration of other business, some other bills get passed, and Dodd doesn't lose out on any of the delay he'd otherwise have been capable of creating.

      Fair deal, looked at that way. But it pissed a lot of observers off at Harry Reid, because it looked like Reid was forcing the process forward, even though Dodd got every minute a Senator who loses a cloture vote is entitled to.

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