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C-SPAN2: Senator Tom Udall is speaking now about filibuster reform. It's now or never.

http://www.c-span.org/...

8:50 AM PT: Udall: If they will not come with us, we are in the position where we are the majority.

8:53 AM PT: Udall is done speaking and apparently they are now discussing the possibly changes in private.

9:07 AM PT: Senator Jeff Merkley is speaking now.

9:22 AM PT: Senator Tom Udall is speaking again.

9:24 AM PT: Merkley and Udall are now having a conversation on the floor to flatter new senators and shame anyone who is against reform.

9:45 AM PT: Apparently they are done for the day? Hopefully there will be real reform tomorrow, against all odds.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Stop the Filibuster bottleneck (8+ / 0-)

    Now on CSpan 2

    Mojo?!?! What mojo?

    by xopher on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:45:36 AM PST

  •  Nothing happening today, according to The Hill (6+ / 0-)

    http://thehill.com/...

    Reid has stooped to negotiating with Yurtle over what the new rules will be. The talking filibuster is DOA.

    I'm thinking of adopting a jellyfish and naming him Harry.

    (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

    by TrueBlueDem on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:51:25 AM PST

  •  Apparently they are going into their caucuses (5+ / 0-)

    To discuss next step, so we won't get an outcome for a bit?

    "Much more would be accomplished if just half the energy that goes into this internal battling went into the real activism that we see recounted or proposed in diaries every day. " ~MB

    by roubs on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:51:29 AM PST

  •  C'mon, let's pull this off! (6+ / 0-)

    Now or never, Senators.

    Please proceed, governor

    by Senor Unoball on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:52:12 AM PST

  •  Don't get your hopes up... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatPoshGirl, Senor Unoball

    only to have them dashed again. IMHO.

    "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

    by gritsngumbo on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:01:32 AM PST

    •  Forget hope. Call your Senator. (0+ / 0-)

      Get out on the Web, on Twitter or HuffPo or wherever. Don't hope that things happen. Help make them happen. Put pressure on, and keep it on forever.

      The next Really Big Deal before us is the gerrymander and voting rights, from now to Nov. 2014. Because there are more Democrats than Republicans, but fewer Democratic-majority districts.

      America—We built that!

      by Mokurai on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:22:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  we interrupt this filibuster reform (6+ / 0-)


    for a Caucus Lunch.  this can't be good.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:03:27 AM PST

  •  Nothing today (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatPoshGirl, ferg, jnhobbs

    Steve Benen reports that, whatever the decision will be, it won't be made or announced today.  Reid is postponing, evidently because he's still negotiating with Mr. Turtle.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/...

    •  The last sentence of which is: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      J M F
      if Reid were serious about bold changes, he wouldn't be negotiating with McConnell at all -- he'd be rounding up 51 votes from his own caucus.
      Dammit.
    •  I thought that, per rules (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim

      today was the only day on which this was possible. Is that not so?

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:34:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's still January 3 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itskevin

        The Senate has the power to extend time indefinitely.

      •  Myth (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, dzog

        I don't have access to it not, but there was an article authored by a former Senate parliamentarian, disputing that the Senate could only change rules on the first day.

        Intuitively, this makes sense.  The Senate should be free to change rules whenever they want.

        Still, the conventional wisdom is to the contrary, and Reid's actions suggest he accepts that the rule changes must occur on the first official day, though that can be extended  indefinitely.

        •  It's been discussed before. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ferg

          They can change the rules at any time during a session, but long-established convention limits such action to the first day to discourage shenanigans. Would the GOP as majority switch rules in the middle of a session? They've threatened to do so before, but have never actually gone through with it.

          ---

          •  That's the so-called "nuclear option" (0+ / 0-)

            which to my understanding is NOT what Dems are proposing here. The NO would have required violating the rules to change the rules, at least according to some interpretations, whereas this takes advantage of the fact that on the first day of each new senate's session there are no rules except the ones the constitution imposes, allowing a simple majority to change the rules from those of the previous senate. Repubs claim that this is unconstitutional, which is rich given that they had no constitutional issue with Frist's far more dubious NO. But then "rules" and Repubs should never be in the same sentence unless it includes the word "violate" or words "don't make me laugh".

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 03:30:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  they will suspend instead of adjourn (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatPoshGirl

    so they can continue talking about this tomorrow

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:22:40 AM PST

  •  Udall-Merkley colloquy at 9:24 eom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatPoshGirl

    America—We built that!

    by Mokurai on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:26:45 AM PST

  •  Merkley and Udall should bro hug to conclude this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatPoshGirl

    n/t

    "Much more would be accomplished if just half the energy that goes into this internal battling went into the real activism that we see recounted or proposed in diaries every day. " ~MB

    by roubs on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:26:53 AM PST

  •  Merkley: The American people are way ahead (7+ / 0-)

    of this Chamber.

    America—We built that!

    by Mokurai on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:27:20 AM PST

    •  He is so right about that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, mightymouse

      and the American people will be disappointed with more weak sauce and  government that doesn't function.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:48:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My gut feeling is that it's not happening (3+ / 0-)

    They have something on Reid and/or other top Dems and have intimidated him into caving on this. Thus ending any chance of Obama's being able to fulfill any meaningful part of his bold inaugural address agenda.

    He telegraphed this with his body language weeks ago.

    Plus ca change, plus la Dems cave...

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:31:41 AM PST

  •  What a telling graphic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatPoshGirl, KayCeSF

    Johnson - 1
    Reid - 387

    Tyranny of the minority.  

  •  remember that little-seen item (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatPoshGirl, Subterranean, Magster, annan


    at the end of the fiscal cliff deal passed in the Senate?  On New Year's Day, Harry Reid was pushing nominations across his desk in an empty chamber that were passed by acclamation?  A whole lot of backlogged nominations for judiciary seats that the Senate had filibustered over the past couple of years?

    That was part of the fiscal cliff deal he made with McConnell.  And I think that a compromise on filibuster reform was also part of that deal, because Harry stopped talking tough on it over that weekend.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:36:12 AM PST

    •  Filibuster reform would have pushed them all thru. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, mightymouse

      But I don't doubt what you say.. Reid has bargained with himself many times in the past, and always gets the raw end of the deal.

      When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

      by Wayward Son on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:41:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did You Read the List (0+ / 0-)

      This take on the nominations is bunk.  Read the list.  There were very few judicial appointments that make any difference, especially in view of the backlog of over 100 District Court Judges.  Most of that stuff is just window dressing.  Again, another sell out by Reid.  He should have held out for all the nominees.  Instead he gets the "non-controversial" ones only.  This was a total joke.

  •  Tried calling my CA senators DiFi and Boxer (7+ / 0-)

    Both lines were not answered.
    I have written earlier to DiFi and am extremely disappointed with her response, as well as her representation of progressive causes.
    Too bad we don't have a better candidate for CA!

    The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past - Milan Kundera

    by Suvro on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:37:32 AM PST

    •  Di-Fi isn't progressive at all. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, Suvro

      Well, she can occasionally surprise, but really she's a relic from a former era when California Democrats could be socially somewhat liberal, but otherwise thoroughly conservative. I really thought 2006 would be her last term in office, but she's back again. And no one will challenge her for the seat because they know they'd be crushed in a primary - both in terms of money and endorsements.

      Maybe by 2018 she'll be ready to finally retire.

      ---

  •  I wish the progressive media was less concerned (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, mightymouse

    with the "talking filibuster" and was more concerned about limiting the length of time a piece of legislation/nomination can be held; eliminating secret holds and limiting the # of holds a Senator gets per session. That would much more to help than a talking filibuster would. But, the talking filibuster is more interesting, so it gets all of the attention.

    President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

    by askew on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:38:55 AM PST

    •  Those are also important (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim

      But it seems we're not getting much information about whether those items are still under consideration.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:49:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those issues have ignored since this debate began. (0+ / 0-)

        Claire McCaskill had a bill that would have fixed all of those things but I am not sure if it was ever included with the proposed Merkley-Udhall bill.

        President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

        by askew on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:01:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Udall spoke to those points earlier today (0+ / 0-)

        but it's not as though Senate Resolution 4 is secret.

        S.Res.4 - A resolution to limit certain uses of the filibuster in the Senate to improve the legislative process.
        Full text

        Well, an English translation would help. :-) The basic points are the talking filibuster, only one filibuster per bill, and cutting debate and delay time after cloture.

        Can Harry Reid strike a deal with Mitch McConnell? I doubt it.

        Do the Democrats have 51 votes for SR4? Maybe. If not, what do we have 51 votes for? We shall see. If you are in Indiana, Michigan, Arkansas, or Montana, then call Joe Donnelly, Carl Levin, Mark Pryor or Max Baucus, respectively. They are the principal D (Blue Dog) holdouts. Donnelly's office has not yet returned any of my calls, so they are going to get more of them.

        America—We built that!

        by Mokurai on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:47:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes it just seems painful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    to realize that we have to have such dramatic conversations about changing rules, when behind the rules is a behavior that is rewarded. All the rules in the world can't change negative behavior if that behavior is going to be rewarded.

  •  Doesn't matter with a GOP House (0+ / 0-)

    Dems lose the Senate with filibuster reform because it makes Landrieu, Pryor, Baucus, Johnson all pull a Blanche Lincoln and piss off both sides and get a Quixotic primary challenge that accomplishes nothing other than guarantee their loss.

    If there was reforms, it would make these senators the decision makers and they'd have to please two masters - Dem voters and enough moderates/centrists back home who would want to see an independent streak out of them and that is impossible to do.  

    So no reform means they get the cover of 5 GOP Senator votes on any measure, so they can't possibly be attacked/smeared as signing off on a far left agenda if five Republicans have also signed off to get cloture.  

    And what would be the point to sacrifice the senate majority in 2014 when the GOP holds the House anyways.  It's not like the GOP Senate obstruction is the only thing standing int he way of progressive legislation like they were in 2008-2010.

    Pres Obama and his agenda are much better off holding the Sen majority in 2014, and not having to face a GOP Sen and GOP House.  

    And before anybody argues that McConnell will change the rules the first chance he gets in 2014 realize that just like 2014 is a tough year for Dems, 2016 will be a great year for Dems with Johnson in Wisconsin, Toomey in PA, Kirk in Illinois, Ayotte in NH, Portman in Ohio, Rubio in Florida, Burr in NC, McCain in Az all up in a Presidential year.  So McConnell changing the rules in 2014 sets up the Dems then living by those rules or making their own in 2016.  

    Not to mention McConnell would need 51 votes (50 wouldn't be enough as Biden is tie breaker), so assume the Dems lose 6 seats in 2014 (Landrieu, Pryor, Johnson, Baucus, Begich and Hagan), so now we're at 51-49 - but McConnell loses one vote in his caucus for the changes and they don't happen.  And the GOP's 2016 class will want the cover just like our at-risk Dems want now.  Would Kirk vote to change the rules, and then vote for a far right agenda knowing that he'll get destroyed in his 2016 re-election bid if he did?  Any and every GOP Senator on a 51-49 split would own every one of their Senate votes explicitly as they could have been the difference maker in blocking it and how would each and every vote play back in their blue/purple states in a coming Presidential election year?  And any legislation that they personally blocked would probably gin up a primary challenge not unlike the one Lincoln faced in Arkansas.  

    "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:52:02 AM PST

    •  Explain to me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg

      why this would piss off the Dems? Why would it threaten the at-risk Senators from reelection? I understand the math 2014 vs. 2016 you list ... but this is not an issue that would change voters minds (not Dems, and not Independents in my mind). If anything, a talking filibuster would help illustrate to people ... just like me ... into the drama and dynamics of the Senate, to hear exactly why Senators want to vote a bill or nomination down.  I think this would help in the re-election process because the Reps would be hung with their own words (not hiding behind a paper filibuster)... words that would end up on the internet, in ads, etc.

      •  It hurts people like Landrieu (0+ / 0-)

        here in very red-state Louisiana.  

        The filibuster prevents her from having to vote in the most contentious situations on the most contentious issues.  

        If a very contentious, high-profile, polarizing issue comes to the floor of the Senate, she has a choice: (1) vote with the left, and kill her chances for re-election; or (2) vote with the right, and prompt a primary challenge, where she would be forced to the left and kill her chances for re-election.  

        If this very contentious, polarizing issue were going to become law with that Senate vote, it might be worth it to Democrats to sacrifice Landrieu, and others like her, in the interest of getting that bill signed into law by the President.  But it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to force here into a vote that, for her, is a lose-lose proposition if the vote is ultimately meaningless because the legislation won't get past the Republican House.  If the Democrats controlled the House, it would be different.  

        That's why Democratic Senators in red states who have to run in 2014 might not support filibuster reform.  

    •  It absolutely does matter. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KayCeSF, Albanius

      Obama can't get his judicial and other nominations through the Senate right now. There is a judicial vacancy crisis and the GOP Senators don't care.

      President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

      by askew on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:02:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You'll have to dig really deep into history (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg

      to find me a sitting Senator who lost an election because of a vote on Senate rules.

    •  Nice Political Decision (0+ / 0-)

      But I thought our representatives were supposed to be looking out for the country.  A minority of the Senate has been holding up almost all business of government over the last 3 years.  That's not good for the country and that's why we need to get this done.  A very smart mentor once told me:

      "The best politics is to do the right thing."
      Natalie Meyer, former Colorado Secretary of State

      She was right when she said this to me 30 years ago and she's right today.  

      Your calculations and political talk ignore the right thing for the country, and frankly, that's exactly the problem we have in Washington today.  So my advice to you.  Think about why you care about politics and what you think it should really be, then apologize for your totally ridiculous post above.

  •  Senator Merkley (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    began to speak about discussing Alexander Hamilton's remarks, with a quote about the simple minority controlling the majority and how it's tyranny by the minority, with "tedious delays," and "contemptible compromises of the public good," and Merkley describing filibustering is a "practice subversive to all," etc.

    I could not get a glimpse of how many Senators were in the Chambers during this discussion.  It felt like Senators Merkley and Udall were speaking to the camera and mostly and empty Senate floor, and when Merkley asked if anyone on the floor had anything to say, not one Senator wanted to add to their discussion.

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:54:40 AM PST

    •  Yes, I only saw three Senators the whole time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KayCeSF

      Although the transcript shows that Reid, Coats, and McConnell, at least, spoke briefly before the filibuster debate began.

      Udall, Merkley, and the Senate President Pro-Tem were the only participants in the debate. It's kabuki, of course, but this time it's our kabuki. The arguments are archived at C-SPAN where we can link to them.

      America—We built that!

      by Mokurai on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:57:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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