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View Diary: The future of the filibuster (117 comments)

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  •  So If it takes a 2/3 Majority to Change the Rule (0+ / 0-)

    What was the nuclear option all about?  Was that a fictional threat when it came up a few years ago?

    •  The nuclear option was the threat (0+ / 0-)

      to rule that the rule wasn't a rule. When a ruling by the chair on a point of order is disputed, the dispute is resolved by a majority vote on the floor.

      There were a few ways to detonate the nuclear option, but they all used the same mechanism: dispute a ruling, and the majority votes in against the plain text of the rule.

      So, for example, you could invoke cloture on a confirmation vote. The cloture would fail, but the chair calls the vote anyway. The minority of course calls a point of order that the vote cannot be taken because cloture failed. The presiding officer upholds the point of order, because the rules are absolutely clear that the vote cannot be forced without cloture. But a backbench majority Senator objects to the ruling, and a majority vote is held on whether the ruling was correct. Even though the ruling clearly was correct, the majority votes that it was not, and they go ahead and hold the vote.

      Kaboom.

      In America, 60% of bankruptcies are because of medical bills, and 80% of those people had health insurance

      by sullivanst on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:56:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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