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View Diary: President Obama endorses filibuster reform (212 comments)

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  •  Remember this: (0+ / 0-)

    Reform is not necessarily the same thing as eliminating.

    You don't know exactly what you're saying "hell no" to. And that's usually a poor position from which to be saying anything, let alone "hell no."

    •  How about this? (0+ / 0-)

      The filibuster "silver bullet" : every senator gets 1 to use on whatever purpose they choose during the 2-year session (or maybe during a 6-year term).  That way, we know the senator has to commit to this filibuster for real and not just as a regular fun thing to do -- no more filibusters on 3rd tier cabinet appointments and minor amendments that way, but only on big stuff.  That would also limit the number of filibusters by the minority party to 49 at most, way fewer than we're seeing these days.

      •  It seems natural enough. (1+ / 0-)
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        brownprof

        Like instant replay challenges in the NFL.

        The problem with it is that the filibuster currently functions in a way that doesn't lend itself to enforcing something like this. When someone asks unanimous consent to move a bill to the floor for consideration, how do you tell a Senator that his objection to a unanimous consent request simply doesn't count anymore if he's already filibustered something in the past. (Not to mention the difficulties of defining what "filibustering" actually means.)

        If you ask unanimous consent, that means everybody's consent. Not just the consent of those who've never objected to anything before.

        And if there is objection and they opt instead to use a motion to proceed to bring a bill to the floor, there's no way you can tell people who've voted against them in the past that they're not allowed to vote on this one. Nor would there be any way to disallow votes on cloture motions from anyone who'd voted no before.

        Because it ultimately comes down to a matter of counting votes, it would likely be unconstitutional to deny a sitting Senator the right to cast his or her vote on a cloture motion (or any matter). And that's the only way to "disarm" a Senator's ability to participate in filibustering something.

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