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View Diary: Denying a quorum vs. the filibuster (37 comments)

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  •  Inferences Can Change (0+ / 0-)

    I maintain that the filibuster as currently constituted in the Senate is fixable without a "rules change." As David has pointed out, the current filibuster/cloture rules are an inference of an interpretation of the rules. In essence, a parliamentary precedent way the hell down in the weeds.

    Funny thing about parliamentary precedent and inference, it is generally sustained only by the active assent of the Chair of the assembled organization or a vote of the majority of that organization. Solving the problem by majority vote is what we tried to do with cloture reform at the beginning of this Congress. I think it's now time to try the other way.

    The Vice President of the United States is the Presiding Officer of the Senate. As such, he is tasked with making interpretations - and inferences - about the rules of that body from the Chair. With that power, VP Biden could reinterpret the rules. He could, and in my opinion should, start ruling certain filibusters out of order. It would take a majority vote (51) to over-rule his ruling from the Chair. It would provide a method for ending specific filibusters with fewer than 60 votes WITHOUT making a change to the operating rules of the Senate.

    Best of all, VP Biden served more years in the Senate than the current Parliamentarian of that body! Even if Senators wanted to appeal to the Parliamentarian, the Vice-President could cite his superior knowledge and experience, and be on solid grounds doing so.

    Just MHO.

    (Essentially reprising: http://www.congressmatters.com/...)

    Progress is a continuum, not a light switch. Visit Leesburg Tomorrow.

    by Paradox13 on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 11:40:31 AM PST

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