Skip to main content

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.

Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site