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So it looks like Majority Leader Harry Reid is going to make some modest changes to the filibuster.  The Republicans have threatened retaliation and more obstruction.

So, for those skilled in parliamentary procedure I am wondering what all the Republicans can do?  I have some ideas.

Harry Reid will exercise the "Constitutional Option" at the start of the next session of Congress and change senate rules with a majority vote.  Basically he is proposing to make the Motion to Proceed and a few other procedural motions non-debatable.  He is also going to require continuous debate on a filibuster or what some call a "talking filibuster."

The Republicans are threatening retaliation and obstruction.  So the Democrats can be on guard and maybe begin to prepare, let's think of what tactics the Republicans might use.  

Reforming the filibuster to avoid delay is of no value if the delay just comes from other tactics.

Here are some of the things I see the Republicans can do or try:

1. Require all bills introduced to be read. Solution is to change the rules so that anything available for 72 or 48 or however many hours does not have to be read.

2. Require a quorum to be present to conduct business as required in the constitution.  This one seems the toughest.  Since the constitution requires a quorum to be present they may be able to force 51 senators to always be present.

3. As happened in the 1975 filibuster reform they could:
"...interrupt the proceedings with an extraordinary series of
parliamentary tactics, including live quorum calls, motions to recess,
roll calls on motions to recess, motions to reconsider previous roll
calls, points of order, and appeals of points of order." See Gold & Gupta article on the Constitutional Option.  So this one I am not sure what the Democrats could do.

So there looks like many ways even with filibuster reform to obstruct.  I am not interested in the politics or optics of them, but just what can be done in parliamentary procedure and what moves can be done to stop the Republicans.

Hopefully others knowledgeable about parliamentary procedure will discuss some of the possible tactics the Republicans might use and ways the Democrats can stop them.


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