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U.S. Capitol dome in storm
The most effective way Republicans have found to make their political argument that government is bad is to actually break it, to keep it from functioning. And they've had remarkable success, from slashing budgets in previous budget fights to the sequester. They're also doing it with the filibuster and other delaying tactics, like boycotting confirmation hearings. And they're, of course, doing the Chamber of Commerce's and Wall Street's and Big Oil's bidding by focusing their efforts in particular on those agencies that regulate big business.
Obama’s choices to lead the Labor Department and the Environmental Protection Agency have been delayed by feuds over their past positions and the policies of departments they aspire to lead. His nominee to lead the Energy Department had been stalled, though an agreement was reached late yesterday for a confirmation vote. [...]

“The confirmation process is increasingly turning into a hostage situation,” said Ross Baker, a political science professor atRutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.[...]

Senate Republican leaders say the criticism is unfounded, and that the recent holdups are part of a careful examination of nominees whose records raise important questions.
“We’ve processed a lot of nominations, but some of the nominees the president has put up are really problematic,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican leader. “Congress has a role to play, in terms of advice and consent. They need to relax a bit and let the Senate do its job.”

That's just a lie from Cornyn, proven by the flat-out refusal of the entire Republican Senate caucus to allow a vote on Richard Cordray, which they freely admit isn't because of a problem with the nominee, but because they want to nullify the law that created his agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Senate Republicans are spitting on their constitutional role of advice and consent. In doing so, they're not just breaking the Senate, they're breaking the government, all three branches of it.

It helps that more news organizations are recognizing just how extraordinary this level of obstruction is, because that will help convince the people who have power to do something about it—Senate Democrats—to finally put an end to it with rules reform.

Please send an email to your Democratic senator(s) telling them to re-open filibuster reform so that we can have a functioning Senate and government.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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