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View Diary: Why we need 60 votes for everything, in plain language (68 comments)

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  •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

    All we need is 51 votes to get rid of the idea that debate in the Senate has to go on as long as you can't get 60, or 67, or any number except 51, to end the debate.  Any number except 51, to do anything in either chamber, with the exceptions laid out in the Consitution (overriding vetoes, etc.) derives from Senate or House rules, which can be changed at any time by 51 votes.  If the filibuster were part of the Constitution, of course you would need all sorts of supermajorities to get rid of it.

    But it's not.  The filibuster is simply a Senate rule, imposed by a simple 51 vote majority every time a new Senate convenes and votes, as one if its first agenda items, on the rules that will govern its deliberations in the coming Congress.  It takes only the same 51 votes to get rid of any aspect of these rules as it does to pass any aspect of these rules.  Period.

    The rules aren't even binding for the entire two-year span of each successive Congress.  The President of the Senate, or whoever is presiding in his place, can challenge the application of any rule at any time any Senator tries to use that rule.  If his ruling that that rule does not apply is upheld by 51 votes, that rule is dead.  Period.

    We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

    by gtomkins on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 05:19:21 AM PST

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