Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Amending Senate Debate Rules

On Thursday, Republicans tried to get around that limit with a multitude of “motions to suspend the rules,” which violate the concept of cloture and could keep debate going even after a supermajority votes to move on. Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, decided that he had had enough and prompted a majority to vote to end this practice. It will now be out of order to try to suspend the rules once 60 senators have voted to end debate.

Any change that chips away at the gridlock in the Senate should be encouraged. Over the last three or four years, Senate Republicans have made a mockery of the minority party’s protections, routinely filibustering virtually every bill, blocking nominations and spending hours on political stunts designed to stymie and embarrass President Obama and the Democrats. . . .

"Chipping Away at Gridlock in the Senate," Editorial, New York Times, 11 October 2011.

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