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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:20 AM
Original message
Pelosi Makes Her Case: A Majority Is 51 Votes
Source: The Hill


Pelosi Makes Her Case: A Majority Is 51 Votes
By Steven T. Dennis
Roll Call Staff
Feb. 10, 2010


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is pinning the blame on Republicans for a lack of bipartisanship in Congress and plans to bypass them if they continue to oppose efforts to enact near-universal health care.

A constitutional majority is 51 votes, Pelosi said in an interview Tuesday with Roll Call. If in fact the Republicans are going to say nothing can be done except by 60 percent, then maybe we all should be elected with 60 percent. It isnt legitimate in terms of passing legislation.

Pelosi has been wary of publicly giving advice to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) or President Barack Obama, but its no secret that House Democrats have been increasingly frustrated at the dysfunction on the opposite side of the building.

There is some unease when you talk about, well, whats happening to the initiatives to help the American people? Pelosi said. Is there never anything that can be done without 60 votes?

Read more: http://www.rollcall.com/news/43170-1.html
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. Well, uh, yeah, it's about time someone said that...
I didn't think voters put Republicans in the driver's seat in 2008, either.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. evidently kiss repub fannies is NOT an effective governing strategy lol nt
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stopbush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
28. If the VP is there to break a 50-50 tie vote in the Senate, then it's obvious that
a simple majority is all that's needed to pass legislation.

Has there ever been a case where the VP was called in to cast the tie-breaking, 51-50 vote only to be told, "sorry, you need 60 votes for passage?"

Don't think so.

BTW - the VP does NOT get to vote to reach a 60-vote majority.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #28
37. Not really.
The Constitution says the VP does not have a vote unless there is a tie. It says nothing about fifty-fifty, to wit.

"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."

The Constitution also says a majority suffices for a quorum. It does not say how many votes are required to pass legislation. That decision it leaves to Senate rules.

So, let's say that the Senate decided that, if a quorum were present, 40 votes would suffice to pass legislation and 80 Senators voted, 40 to 40. The VP could break the tie.
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stopbush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #37
131. Thanks for the corrective.
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 09:09 PM by stopbush
You raise an interesting point about quorums:

what if all of the Rs just stayed home and never voted, and the Ds got 51-57 votes for everything they voted on. Would a 57-0 vote still fail because it didn't achieve the 60 vote threshold? If so, why should Rs even bother showing up for votes? As long as 41 will not ever vote Yes, the Senate will never reach 60.
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whopis01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #131
147. When it comes to a vote on cloture, it requires 3/5 of the senate, not 3/5 of those voting.
The language was changed to read three-fifths of those who are "duly chosen and sworn", not three-fifths of those present and voting.

No Republicans have to be present at all, as a matter of fact. One has to inform the majority leader that they are invoking a filibuster and from that point nothing can be done until a vote for cloture is successful.

So, while it only takes 51 votes (or less, depending on the size of the quorum) to pass a bill, it does take 60 votes to decide to vote on a bill.
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #28
108. Tie breaking votes by the VP used to be regular events
Walter Mondale was the last to do it. And he just did it once.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tie-breaking_votes...
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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #108
137. Not true. Gore and Cheney broke several ties.
Edited on Fri Feb-12-10 05:32 AM by demwing
Read on it here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tie-breaking_votes...

BTW - Gore broke ties on 2 deficit reduction bills, an ethanol tax subsidy bill, and a bill requiring background checks at gun shows.

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whopis01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #108
148. I believe you are misreading the chart
The names are not ordered by time, they are ordered by the number of tie breaking votes. Cheney was the last one to do it. He is actually tied for 8th place for the most number of tie breaking votes.
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. Dems wouldn't be in so much problems nationally if the Senate had it's act together
and Obama took on the GOP more than he has (though it seems like he is getting the message).
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
41. Some states refuse to elect any Dem other than a Purple Snake. Or, so they say.
As far as the Senate rules, no Democrat complained about the 60 vote rule on some votes from 2000 to 2006. And they won't complain about it the next time Democrats are in the minority.


And therein lies the problem. Neither Party wants to give up its power to obstruct whichever Party happens to be in the majority in the Senate at a given time. This works better for Republicans than for Democrats, though, because the Republican base supposedly believes that the less government is able to do the better.

In fact, when you look at them, most things work better for Republicans than for Democrats. Which would seem to say that either Democratic politicians are much dumber than Republican politicians, or that there is not much difference between the real goals of Democratic politicians and the real goals of Republican politicians. However, the Democratic politicians do need to fook their base more than do Republican politicians.
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SomeGuyInEagan Donating Member (872 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
140. The *COUNTRY* wouldn't be in so much trouble if the Dems in Senate had their act together n/t
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
4. But it doesn't matter what Dems SAY if they're not willing to DO anything about it...
Using reconciliation and insisting on real filibusters would be DOING something.
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ThomThom Donating Member (752 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. How about changing the rules to only need a simple majority
to pass legislation.
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. Sure, if they can. How many votes does it take to change the rules? nt
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Demoiselle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. They can set new rules at the beginning of the next session.
They can dump the filibuster...for, at least...that session. It will take 50 Senators and Joe Biden.
I hope and pray they do it. Enough is enough.
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #19
24. Then they definitely should do it! nt
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #19
42. They can set new rules at any time, unless a Senate rule says differently--and they can change that
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 01:04 PM by No Elephants
rule, too.

What puzzle me--why the rules about reconciliation were enacted into law?
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #19
74. It doesn't work that way in the Senate like in the House. Since
only 1/3 of the Senate is elected every 2 years, they have judged themselves a continuous body with no break from one Numbered Congress to the next. Senate rules are not renewed every 2 years but simple remain in effect until changed. Thanks primarily (I believe) to West Virginia's Robert Byrd, It takes 66 votes to change the rules.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #74
91. Link to support the 66 vote claim, please.
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 03:37 PM by No Elephants
Cloture on a filibuster designed to hinder a change in rules is different from a vote to change the rules.
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #91
121. Two very different things. Cloiture takes only 60. Changing the
actual rules (about Cloiture or anything else) requires 67 (not 66 as I posted earlier).

1st Link - Rules continue one Congress to Another: (Rule 5) "The rules of the Senate shall continue from one Congress to the next Congress unless they are changed as provided in these rules."
http://rules.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=RuleV

2nd Link - 2/3 Senators needed to Change Rules: (Rule 22) ".., except on a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules, in which case the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the Senators present and voting...."
http://rules.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=RuleXXII


I'm away a lot so next time, just do a Google Search - these are very well-known provisions
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Autonomy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #121
135. It takes only a simple majority to change the rule
Edited on Fri Feb-12-10 01:52 AM by Autonomy
on how many votes it takes to change a rule, or so says Cenk. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but there ya go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yh3A7Ur_KA

Edit add:

"Precedent also supports this principle. In 1975 the senators changed the filibuster requirement from 67 votes to 60, after concluding that it only takes a simple majority to change the rules governing their proceedings. As Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.) said at the time: ''We cannot allow a minority'' of the senators ''to grab the Senate by the throat and hold it there.''"

http://www.cato.org/research/articles/rotunda-030707.ht...
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #135
142. But wishing it so doesn't make it so - These are Sen Byrd's sacred
rules. The reason they won't vote to change them is that they know someday they will be back in the minority. How happy would you have been in 2004 with no filabuster?
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Autonomy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #142
143. Did you read the Cato Institute article?
It addresses that very issue -- a previous Senate cannot bind a later Senate; hence, the majority-sufficiency for rule changes 'meta-rule'.

I understand your point on filibuster swinging both ways. I am not one of those who are short-sightedly jumping on the reconciliation bandwagon. I remember 5 years ago, and that the Repub Senate only used reconciliation on budget issues BECAUSE they didn't want the eventual Dem majority to nuke them when their turn came up...

I'm not saying Dems 'should' change the rules; I'm saying they 'could' change the rules.
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #143
144. But did you read the Senate Rules? Rule 5 is that the Senate is
a Continuous Body, not a this Senate and that Senate. And Changing Rule 5 also takes 67 votes.

If they cooda done did it , don't you think they would have, in 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006?

When CATO has a vote on the Senate floor be sure to let me know.
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Autonomy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #144
145. Res ipsa, they did not do it
is proof they would not do it, not that they could not do it. There's another reason they would not do it: the one I cited earlier -- fear of a post-nuclear senate.

All the 'rules' so-called are nothing more than a gentleman's agreement. SCOTUS has already decided that a supermajority requirment is unconstitutional, except in 7 specified cases. Here's a law review article that encapsulates the issue:

"The reasoning behind the challenge to the filibusters constitutionality rests on the concept of entrenchment: the idea that all legislatures are equally powerful and a current legislature cannot bind the prerogatives of a future one. The Supreme Court has also found that legislative entrenchment is unconstitutional. Thus Senate Standing Rule XXII, the cloture rule, which allows unlimited debate on an issue until a cloture motion passes, is also likely unconstitutional because it requires a supermajority to pass. The Constitution says that action in Congress shall be by simple majority except in seven specific cases. In 1975 the rule was altered, lowering the percentage of the vote necessary to end a filibuster from two-thirds of senators (67) to three fifths (60). But in numerous other earlier attempts at alteration, the Senate expressly rejected the idea that a simple majority was enough to change the rule. In fact, the 1975 change is a precedent against the change now being advanced, Gerhardt said."

https://www.law.virginia.edu/html/news/2005_spr/filibus...

Senate rules are subordinate to the Constitution. Those rules are not actually binding when they contradict the Constitution, as they do in the case of supermajorities.
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #145
149. The Constitution is silent on how many votes then need to pass
legislation - but it is explicit that both house of Congress make their own rules.
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BobMackenze Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #144
146. Republicans almost Nuked the Filibuster in 2005 but Democrats caved
and gave them everything they wanted. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gang_of_14

Some of the Democrats who caved:
Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu

Note that the Filibuster a great boon to Conservatives/Republicans/Corporatists and totally against progressive change. So naturally Republicans and Conserva-Dems love it (and was only going to selectively nuke Filibusters for Judges) and thus don't want to get rid of it.
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Demoiselle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #74
122. Then force them to filibuster. Nothing's going to get done anyway.
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #19
129. That is
incorrect the House can set new rules at the start of a new session
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ThomThom Donating Member (752 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
38. 51
I think
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #16
128. They
would need 67 votes to change the rules and what are the chances of that?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #128
130. They can do whatever they choose to do.
Who is going to prevent them? Is some cop going to show up and tell the Senate that it cannot do whatever it likes with its rules?
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #11
72. It takes 66 votes (2/3) to change Senate rules. n/t
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #72
89. Please see Reply # 91.
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 03:39 PM by No Elephants
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #72
125. How many votes to change the rule that says it takes 67 votes?
Can a Congressional rule forbid the Congress to change it? Or is it really up to the Congress to decide how it wants to do its business?
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #125
141. That's Senate Rule #22 - so 67 votes n/t
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #141
150. Seems kind of circular somehow.
A rule that says you can't change the rules is a meta-rule, a rule about rules. It cannot govern itself. Who is going to enforce that rule if the Senate votes to change it with 51 votes? Can the Senate bind itself if the Senate chooses not to be bound? How does that work anyway?
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
83. I wish the Democrats would just start kicking ass... what do they have to loose at
this point!
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #83
88. Guess they're worried about losing elections - but imo they'd have a better chance...
...if they did kick some ass.
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
87. YES! That is the enduring truth. History reports actions, and not arguments.
And there wont be much complimentary to say about the last several administrations. Hype, greed, loss of moral compass are descriptive terms I expect will be used to characterize the American experience for the last 40 years, and I have serious concerns that Fall of the American Empire might also be included if we don't reverse this trend PDQ.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
5. How about telling those like Senator Bayh they are not influential leaders?
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
45. It's a sin to tell a lie, even a lie to the likes of Bayh.
Who picked Obama's first judicial appointment, if not Senator Evan Bayh? Who controls the Senate today, if not Senator Bayh and the other Purples Snake Senators?

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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
6. The Dems finally are realizing they were elected to move forward with change? n/t
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
52. They know what they were elected for. They also know they need money to get re-elected and, if
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 01:29 PM by No Elephants
they fail to get re-elected, they want a nice consulted job, like Senator Daschle got.

If American voters would inform themselves, rather than simply voting for incumbents and/or the candidate who runs the most ads (or not voting at all), the people of America would not be in this pickle.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #52
81. Absolutely True!!! n/t
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
7. Heavens to Betsy! She's on to something!
:patriot:
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
8. It's weird how Pelosi has really stepped up on this and healthcare. nt
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bc3000 Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Talking is stepping up?
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 10:04 AM by bc3000
I don't see it.

Let's remember that the only reason we aren't talking about how the house health care bill is complete crap is because the senate bill stole the crown.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #12
113. If "the Senate bill stole the crown," that makes the Senate bill the king of crap. At least the
House bill had a public option.

As far as talk, what else do you recommend Nancy do about changing the rules the Senate has chosen for itself. The only thing she CAN do about that is talk, and hope that her talk stirs us to demand that our Senators change the rules they made for themselves.

"Just words." Remember that phrase from Obama's campaign speeches?

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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
32. I think she is probably truly frustrated, but also,
as the House Majority Leader with elections coming up in November, she wants to endorse an 'out' for Dems to give in response to questions from constituents as to why there is no strong public option, and why efforts to reform the health care system have been stymied. "It's not our fault; it's THEIR fault!"
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
55. I think the Progressive Caucus may be the reason. She cannot pass laws without them.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
9. republicans sure as sh*t never needed 60 votes!
it would be one thing if the senate as an institution were at least consistent.

but 50 votes when republicans are the majority and 60 votes when democrats are the majority is just criminal.
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. +1
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ffr Donating Member (84 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
33. start labeling the GOP as un-American
un-Patriotic for anything and everything. AND use the precedent that W established, to do things behind their backs (recess appointments). Fair's fair!

Let's get this country moving again.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
56. Of course they did. The 60 vote rules were the same 2000 to 2006 as they are now.
Food for thought.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #56
79. the *written* rules were the same, sure.
but the rules the body actually lives by, well, that's another story.

yes, democrats could have filibustered everything in sight when the republicans had a majority;
yes, republican could be more reluctant to filibuster everything in sight;
yes, democrats could threated the "nuclear/constitutional option" just as the republicans did when they had a majority.

but it doesn't work that way, does it?

somehow, republicans almost never needed 60 votes, and we virtually always do.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #79
80. Link to support your statement that the Republicans almost never needed sixty votes 2000-2006?
If you look for one, I think you'll find your assumption is factually incorrect.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #80
95. links:
http://thinkprogress.org/2009/03/31/republican-filibust... /
http://fredtopeka.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/number-of-fi... /

use of filibusters skyrocketed as soon as republicans took over and there was ZERO honeymoon for obama.

yes, we did filibuster, but it was nothing compared to what republicans are doing now.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #95
103. Those links say something different from what you originally claimed.
The reality is that filibusters have been steadily increasing. When we are in the majority, our filibusters of controversial issues will probably exceed those of the Republicans, if that is even possible.

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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #103
105. no, there's been a *big* jump since republicans lost the senate
if your prediction of the future is correct, then perhaps this period will be considered a blip in a larger overall trend, but looking back at just the last decade, no, the republicans have taken this to a whole new level since losing their majority status.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #105
111. Maybe, but your original claim was "almost never." Keep trying to move that goalpost, though.
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 05:04 PM by No Elephants
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #111
117. oh, so sorry! hyperbole in politics, my goodness!
:hi:
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earcandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #79
133. because our leaders are bought and paid for by republican wealth?
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
104. It all depends on whether the other side has the stomach to fight
Fifty votes is fine if nobody is going to exhaust themselves with a filibuster on the other side.

It used to be sixty seven votes needed for cloture. Sixty seems easy compared to that.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #104
106. there's not much "exhaust" involved, unless you count republican speeches
as filibustering no longer requires marathon oration, it's easy -- too easy -- to filibuster.
just file a motion for a cloture vote and kick back and watch the other side struggle to get up to 60.

it's overcoming the filibuster that's exhausting these days.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #104
112. I think a 2/3 vote may be needed to invoke cloture if a Senate rule change is at issue.
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 05:09 PM by No Elephants
Though, I believe the rule change itself would require only 50 votes of Senators plus the vote of the V.P. or 51 votes of Senators.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
119. + 10,000 nt
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
13. Ah ha. The penny dropped. The Senate dems are AFRAID of winning HRC.
If they lose, they can blame GOP obstructionism.

If they win, this HCR bill is theirs, warts and all. If it works well, great. If it works just ok, those who it fails will scream at the democrats. (and earn criticism from left and right) If it works poorly, again the Democrats are the cause. And everyone will blame them. If the bill passes and it completely fails, the Democrats take the blame alone. Out of five possibilities, 20% chance of winning. Ergo, tis better to lose this battle and blame the GOP.

Talk about a spineless collection of future losers.

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Abq_Sarah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #13
26. Pretty much
The problem is, very few people are going to "blame" the GOP for failing to pass a law requiring them to buy health insurance in the middle of a freaking recession when the push should be for more jobs, instead of fewer jobs.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #26
58. Single payer or a strong public option would help the job situation, as well as the big picture
of the economy as a whole. For whatever reason--and I do NOT believe that reason is lack of ability--Democrats hhave not made that crystal clear to the American voting, working and consuming public.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
14. her frustration with the senate
she shouldn't have to be giving advice to Reid... how did this go so wrong?
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
15. If they're smart and pass a bill with meaningful reform, not the present
piece of garbage bill, they will not be defeated in 2010.

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groundloop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Their hands are tied right now, there's only one possible course of action
The only thing that's possible is for the House to pass the Senate bill, then the House creating several targeted bills to fix specific problems and the Senate passing those through budget reconciliation with 51 votes. As it stands right now nothing else is possible, the Party of NO won't let anything else come to the floor for a vote. I see plenty of blame to go around for the current situation, but we need to be hammering our congress people to fix the Senate bill through reconciliation.


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burning rain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
18. Cool move, Pelosi.
The fecklessness of Senate Democrats is exposing House Democrats to defeat in November--Pelosi can ill afford to remain silent.
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Flying Dream Blues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
20. Finally...let all the cowards stand up and be counted
instead of hiding behind the 60-vote "impossibility." If they don't want HCR, make 'em vote against it.
Frankly, I'm happily surprised at Nancy. She must have gotten her negatives back! :evilgrin:
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #20
102. The Senate passed a HCR bill with 60 votes on December 24, 2009.
The problem now seems to be that the House--Nancy's bailwick, the house of Congress where a simple majority does suffice--will not accept the Senate bill as is. Why that is is anyone's guess, since the House HCR bill did not pass by very many votes in the first place, and Murtha's vote is gone now.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
21. Wow .... that must mean all the Lieberman crap was BS????
:evilgrin:
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backtomn Donating Member (424 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
22. So what??
If the leader of the Senate was saying this, instead of the leader of the House, we might have some hope. However, since she has no say in what goes on in the Senate, I will not be holding my breath. Right now, it appears that Harry Reid is dead set on early retirement.
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vegiegals Donating Member (179 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
23. LISTEN UP HARRY!!
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
25. Dear lord, the Dems just discovered math?
Oh the wonders....
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Moostache Donating Member (905 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
27. Amen!
Its good to know that someone found Reid and Obama's balls!

Fuck it already....let's get a primary challenge from a Pelosi-Clinton ticket...they can run on the platform of "we may be women, but we have more balls than Harry and Barry!"
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #27
63. Can we PLEASE stop equating male genitalia with strength and courage,especially
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 02:15 PM by No Elephants
while assuming women candidates would have to justify their candidacy by making an idiotic statement about having testicles?

Thank you.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #63
120. +1. "Spine" "backbone" and "guts" work nicely
My Senator Nelson has testicles, but he surely has no backbone.
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joeglow3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
29. I don't know how I feel about this
Clearly, we liked it when we were able to stop many of Bush's fascist judges. Now, we are on the other side of the aisle and it sucks.

However, what frustrates me more is how incompetent our leaders are at blocking stuff when we are not in charge. Bush was able to push through a lot of garbage because our leaders wouldn't stick together.
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ProgressOnTheMove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
31. WTG Pelosi it's just basically undemocratic EOM, and Harry is allowing the people to lose a voice
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 12:58 PM by ProgressOnTheMove
END OF STORY. The house have every right to be totally p***ed as they have passed bucket loads of bills that will help the people, while Harry is like I don't know the country can go to hell because we can't change rules that are totally unconstitutional W,,,T,,,, F. :wtf: The filibuster is to extend debate not kill bills, it needs reforming now, and senate take fewer votes to change it's been misused the penalty should be the rules are changes instantly. The whole country is watching you Harry, it's time to become Dirty Harry and nail these punks to the wall and make them eat it.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #31
65. The Senate rules may be undemocratic, but they are not unconstitutional. Pls. see Reply # 36.
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 02:19 PM by No Elephants
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
34. Pelosi has been pretty consistently on the right side of things. Good work. nt
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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
35. Thank you, Nancy
Some have been saying this for months; it is nice to hear the House Speaker acknowledge this fact :)
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
36. Either Nancy has not read the Constiution lately, or she is very confident no one else has.
(a)The COTUS says that a majority constitutes a quorum to do business, It does not specify the number or percentage of either House necessary to pass legislation.

(b) If the COTUS had specified that a majority sufficed to pass legislation, no Senate rule could possibly supersede it. Even a law passed by both Houses of Congress and signed by the President can't supersede the Constitution, let alone a mere Senate rule. That is Constitutional Law 101.

Scary that Nancy, Speaker of the House, seems to know neither (a) nor (b). Even scarier that no one has yet called her out on her mistake.

No wonder our Constitutional rights are always getting trampled on. Hardly anyone seems to know--or care--what that blessed piece of parchment says.
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Moosepoop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #36
40. She's referring to using reconciliation.
In her interview with Roll Call, Pelosi stopped short of saying the filibuster should be done away with altogether, but she used some of her bluntest language yet to defend the use of reconciliation as something that has been used with regularity by Republican and Democratic presidents alike.

We have set the stage for that. Its important for us to remind the American people of the inconsistency that the Republicans have in saying this is unusual. No, five times President Bush used it. ... This is what the Republicans did to pass their bills, their tax cuts for the rich, Pelosi said.

Its up to us to make sure the public knows that this is not extraordinary. And the public knows that a constitutional majority is 51. It would be a reflection on us if we could not convince people that this is not an unusual place to go.

And Pelosi complained about the never-ending filibusters by Senate Republicans going far beyond the health care debate.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #40
47. A "constitutional majority" has nothing to do with budget reconciliation.
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 01:36 PM by No Elephants
In fact, "constitutional majority" has nothing to do with anything. There is no such thing as a "constitutional majority," as Nancy is using the term. It simply does not exist.

The Constitution says nothing at all about reconciliation, or about what constitutes a majority for the purpose of passing legislation.

Nancy is pulling stuff about the Constitution out of thin air and, worse, no one knows or cares what the Consitution says. That was was my point.
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totodeinhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #40
48. But the entire HCR bill cannot be passed by reconciliation alone.
Reconciliation can only address financial matters, and most experts agree that there are ways for the GOP to force a sixty vote threshold on the way to pass any reconciliation, although the reconciliation bill itself would require only 50 voted plus Biden.

And these complaints about the filibuster rule always come up from the majority party. When the GOP controlled the Senate, it was they who complained when the Dems filibustered. And you had better believe that the next time they retake the Senate then the roles will be reversed again.

This is an inconvenient truth that many people on this board choose to ignore.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #48
50. That has nothing to do with my post, which was about Nancy's misdescribing the Constitution.
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 01:24 PM by No Elephants
Reconciliation is solely a product of House and Senate rules and practice, except that, for some bizarre reason I do not know, Congress chose to enact the Byrd rule into law.

And I agree that the entire Senate bill cannot be passed by reconciliation. I've posted that myself a number of times previously, but my post had nothing to do with reconcilation. BTW, I think reconciliation might, however, work for single payer, aka Medicare for all, However, as Senator Sanders has said on MSNBC (and, as is obvious from the conduct of Congress), the votes for single payer just are not there, not even 50.
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totodeinhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #50
70. Sorry my friend, I meant that reply to be to the OP and I screwed up.
I actually agree with everything you said.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #70
82. No apology necessary. Posting in the wrong spot is easy, especially if you
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 03:09 PM by No Elephants
bother to read the thread before posting--and I appreciate people who read the thread before posting (though I sometimes skip that myself, if I am in a hurry.)
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #36
94. The Constitution authorizes the Vice President to break a "tie."
There are 100 senators. A "tie" exists when a vote is 50 to 50.

In my 1997 Random House dictionary, the 8th definition of "tie" is "to make the same core as; equal in a contest." I would argue that is the meaning of "tie" as used in the Constitution. Thus 50 is a tie and was intended by the Founding Fathers to be a majority.

The problem is the filibuster rule.

A filibuster is actually just the strategy of talking to prevent a vote.

The Senate rule requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. That is what needs to be changed.

The Supreme Court has ruled that it would take only 50 votes to change that rule.

In the United States Senate, the Senate rules permit a senator, or a series of senators, to speak for as long as they wish and on any topic they choose, unless 3/5ths of the Senate (60 out of 100 Senators "duly chosen and sworn")<15> brings debate to a close by invoking cloture. According to the Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Ballin (1892), changes to Senate rules could however be achieved by a simple majority:<16>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filibuster

The Senate can vote to change the filibuster rule by a simple majority.

Whatever happened to the nuclear option threats of the Republicans when Democrats wanted to filibuster. Why aren't Democrats talking about nuclear options.

ome talking heads on the right are already suggesting that this is impossible; that its unconstitutional. But there's nothing in the Constitution about filibusters. And in spite of what some may say to the contrary, the Senate Rules can be changed without a 2/3 majority. This goes all the way back to the 1892 Supreme Court case of US v Balin, which held:

The constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings. <...> The power to make rules is not one which once exercised is exhausted. It is a continuous power, always subject to be exercised by the house, and, within the limitations suggested, absolute and beyond the challenge of any other body or tribunal.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/1/22/152218/323
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #94
101. You are assuming that the Constitution requires at least a majority to pass legislation. I disagree
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 04:24 PM by No Elephants
At least a majority must be present before any business at all can be conducted. That is all the Constitution says about a majority. Please see Reply 37.

No one is talking about the nuclear option because the nuclear option refers to changing a rule. While it may take only 50 plus Biden to change a rule, it takes a 2/3 vote to end a filibuster designed to block a rule change. So, the Senate has just about cast its own rules in stone, to the extent that any rule is the least bit controversial.

However, all the post to which you replied was intended to do was point out that Nancy had misstated the Constitution and no one in the media, in Congress or on this board seemed to notice or care about that. The post was not intended as a dissertation on the Constitution or the Senate rules.

Or even as an explanation of why so-called health care reform has not passed, which, IMO, just may be a subject in itself, apart from the Senate rules. (The Senate did pass a bill. The House can, if it chooses, accept the Senate bill as is.)
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #101
123. They might as well force the Republicans to make a scene and really
filibuster.

That would be the best thing to do. Ordinary Americans have no idea that the Republicans are stopping even the most obviously desirable legislation. The only way to get that in the news and before the American voters is to force the Republicans to actually stand there and talk for weeks.
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W_HAMILTON Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
39. Hah.
Good point about getting elected with 60% of the vote.

The Senate has to change.
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libodem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
43. K&R
With the 51st vote!
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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
44. Please remember that Democrats have used the filibuster to block Rethug bills.
An example would be the Thune Amendment, that had 58 votes in the Senate. That was the bill that would have required a state that allows concealed-carry to honor concealed carry permits from other states. So New York, with its extremely difficult permit system would have to honor permits from states with very easy systems.

The filibuster street goes both ways.
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #44
53. Republicans have left Dems no choice. Either they nuke the republicans now,
or they will never be able to pass any legislation. The thugs are simply filibustering everything Dems want to do. If Dems allow republicans to continue to strongarm them with the filibuster, Dems will be viewed as weak and ineffective, and will end up an even weaker minority.

There's also the possibility that Dems could rapidly pass major progressive legislation that could so impress the country that they might gain an even larger majority in 2012. If Dems continue to cower in the corner in fear of republicans, even I will have a hard time voting for Democrats - and I'm a yellowdog dem that has never missed an election.

Of course, the first thing Dems need to when they go nuclear do is to overturn or effectively neutralize the recent SCROTUS decision that allows corporations to finance campaign advertising. If they don't, we will end up with one party - the republican corparasites.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #53
69. I think you may have overlooked a possiblity.
Maybe, not passing HCR or much else and blaming it on Republicans suits Democrats just fine. That way, they don't get in trouble with their big campaign donors, the corporations, for passing legislation; and they don't get in trouble with voters for not passing it because, after all, that is totally the fault of the Republicans.

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susanwy Donating Member (461 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #69
90. Rightttttt
The average voter pays enough attention to figure out who's fault it is that nothing gets done. Do you really think the average voter has any real knowledge of the arcane Senate rules? Nope, they just look at who the party in power is and say - look they can't get anything done - and vote them out of office.

The Democrats are spineless, there is no other explanation for why Republicans passed most everything they wanted without 60 votes. And what they didn't pass Bush put into place with executive orders and recess appointments. We really need to take a risk and push some legislation through, or our majority is toast, IMHO.

Nancy is playing to the body politic with this because most people do believe that a majority vote rules. So, your right, we may not get the blame, but I wouldn't bet on it, the lousy media will take care of the message. Do Nothing Congress is all we will hear come election time.

Susan
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #90
96. The average voter does not need knowledge of the Senate rules. Both now and while campaigning,
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 03:48 PM by No Elephants
Democrats will tell their base that the Republicans stood in their way. Those members of their base who are loyal, or at least anti-Republican, will take the Democratic politician's word for it; and those of their base who do know the rules will think the rules support the Democratic pollitician's claim of obstruction by Republicans.

The possibility that the Democrats in Congress may not be entirely unhappy about the obstruction by the Republicans is the possiblity that will occur to the fewest. Yet, whether it is correc or not, that possiblity would explain a lot.
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susanwy Donating Member (461 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #96
115. Look, the base knows exactly who stands in the way
It starts with Republicans and in many cases includes "blue dog" Dems. It isn't the base you have to convince in an election. Either your base will vote for their party or they will stay home (because they are pissed you didn't do what you said you'd do when you got elected the last time they voted for you - hint to Obama).

It is the Independents, the swing voters that decide elections (unless someone can mobilize the youth vote, like Obama did)....and they will look to blame the party in power when no legislation is getting passed. So, this idea that we somehow can campaign on the fact the Republicans are obstructionists is a fantasy. It won't work and it also accomplishes the task of turning off the demographic that did turn out last time and voted for Democrats - 18 to 24 year olds. They will just say "Hey look I voted last time and I believed in Hope and Change and nothing got done, why bother."

Plus, really, I personally don't want to sit around waiting for health care, cap & trade, energy legislation because the fucking Senate is so irretrievable dysfunctional that they can't get shit done. If the democrats can't figure out a way to pass legislation the way the Republicans did when they were in charge, well then they are useless. And the very first thing they need to do is dump Harry Reid and get someone that will get Senate Democrats in line. Tell them the Democratic parry won't give them a dime for re-election unless they fully support the Democratic platform (Senator Nelson). If Harry had done that to begin with we'd have a semi-productive health care bill (not the POS the Senate ended up with).

Susan
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-13-10 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #69
152. I hear you, but I believe that the majority of progressives are too well informed
to buy that.

I'm not buying it, and I doubt you are - so IMO Dems need to realize that they are in serious trouble with voters if they don't start steamrolling republicans.

We watched incredulously as Bu$h got everything he wanted and more without needing to have the mythical "supermajority" of 60 votes in the Senate. With the majority Dems have at this time, they should be able to basically ignore republicans and pass everything they need to.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #44
71. Yep, and since the vote that makes filibustering so easy, the filibuster street goes both ways often
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Ed76638 Donating Member (293 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
46. Are we finally going to bring some fight
Or is she just playing with me?
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #46
73. That may depend.
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 02:34 PM by No Elephants
Which is likelier to get her and House Democrats re-elected so that she remains both a Rep and Speaker of a Democratic House (but at least a Rep)?

Yes, I, like most people in America, have become very cynical about the lot of them in Congress, both Parties.
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pjt7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
49. 50 votes is the majority w/
Biden being the decider. Cheney envoked that.

Make the best bills for American's w/ fiscal responsibilty.
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Ed76638 Donating Member (293 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
51. Interesting....
"The shattering of the 60-vote Democratic Senate supermajority with the election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has revived talk among Democrats of bypassing filibusters, and Pelosi has forcefully argued for doing just that to complete work on the partys stalled health care package."

I've always suspected that Arlen Specter switching sides was a Rethug psy-ops.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #51
75. Specter switched sides bc polls showed decisively that he could not possibly win the Pub primary.
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 02:42 PM by No Elephants
So, he switched Parties again, having switched Parties earlier in his career.

I suspect a lot of DINO's originally came into their Democratic existence for similar reasons.

And, I think he probably also got some nice promises from Reid, Obama and the DNC at the time of the switch. The DNC and the stars of the Party are always good to incumbents at Primary time, no matter what. See, for example, Traitor Joe Lieberman v. poor Lamont.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
54. looks like it takes a lady to get things done....
i had some big doubts about nancy but she`s showing REAL LEADERSHIP !
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #54
77. I don't think gender or genitalia or orientation has a thing to do with it (no pun intended).
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
57. 51 votes was good enough for * to decrease taxes for rich and hell knows the GOP won't
play fair next time their at the reign so give the voters what they put you in office for!

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #57
86. Did they have to resort to budget reconciliation, or was there no challenge from Dems?
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #86
92. Here is some interesting info (IT'S BEEN USED MANY TIMES IN THE PAST):
Despite their howls against Obama, Republicans employed the same procedure to pass major Bush agenda items (which were supported by all four aforementioned Senators):

The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts

The 2003 Bush Tax Cuts

Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

As ThinkProgress has noted, Gregg defended using the reconciliation procedure to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for domestic drilling in 2005, arguing, The president asked for it, and were trying to do what the president asked for. Evidently, Gregg has lost the same sense of patriotic duty.

While Republicans seem to be experiencing a particular form of political amnesia from the Bush years, they ought to be reminded that budget reconciliation has been used by several other presidents, including Clinton and Reagan. In fact, Republicans with Bond and Gregg among the leaders of the charge were instrumental in pushing through key provisions of their signature legislative agenda, the Contract with America, using budget reconciliation.

A list of instances where reconciliation was implemented:

Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1980
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981
Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1982
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1983
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993
Balanced Budget Act of 1995 (vetoed)
Personal Responsibility and Budget Reconciliation Act of 1996
Balanced Budget Act of 1997
Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act of 1999 (vetoed)
Marriage Tax Relief Act of 2000 (vetoed)
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003
The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005

-snip

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/03/24/budget-reconciliati...
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #92
98. Thank you for all that info and the link.
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Hawaii Hiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
59. Clarence Thomas got confirmed by a 52-48 vote..
It didn't take 60 votes to confirm that idealogue to the SCOTUS...

It's high time to get health care passed with 51 votes...The thing is, there are EASILY 51 Democratic senators who would not only vote for HCR, but it would include a public option....Democratic leadership has let the inmates run the prison by caving into Lincoln, Libermann, Landrieau, & bad-hairpiece man Nelson....

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #59
99. Yep, that was one potententially politically deadly race card he pulled after the meal break.
"This is a circus. It's a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree."

That took some nerve, equating lynching with being asked questions during a hearing on his nomination as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Especially for a man who claims to have a problem with speaking in public. But, it worked, despite an outcry from women across the nation so loud and heartfelt that both Democrats and Republicans mentioned it during the hearing.

Republicans are good with coming up with potentially politically deadly things--like the toxic soup of sexual abuse of children, illegal prostitution and illegal immigration that caused Democrats to rush vote for an unconstitutional sanction on ACORN a few decades later. I don't think Thomas came up with his comments on his own, nor do I think the costume king came up with his scenario on his own. There's always an Atwater or Rove-like turd in the background.

Sorry. Mentioning Thomas is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

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vegiegals Donating Member (179 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 06:45 AM
Response to Reply #99
139. I remember that day well. So angry and sad but I knew it was
over (Thomas had won) when I heard about that language.
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Greyskye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
60. If they 'filibuster', MAKE them FILIBUSTER

As in standing there talking wearing a diaper under their suit. Showing the American people that they are willing to bring the Government to a halt because their belief in a particular political decision is so strong and absolute. That's a filibuster. Fix that, and these blue-blood corporate fat-cat professional politicians will fall over themselves to avoid actually putting themselves through some discomfort both physically and in the arena of public opinion.

But yeah, fix the vote thing while you're at it too, will you Nancy and Harry?
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Myrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. +10
:applause:
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #60
100. AFAIK, that, too, would require a change in a Senate rule, though. And, before that could
Edited on Thu Feb-11-10 04:11 PM by No Elephants
happen, the Republicans could choose to filibuster the proposed rule change the easy way, unless and until someone mustered a 2/3 vote to end a filibuster on a proposed rule change.

Catch 22.
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Blue Owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
61. Duh, OK boss
:eyes:
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
62. I will believe it when I see it.
Pelosi has come out with various proclamations such as this before.

Anyone remember the famous, "we are keeping our powder dry" comment?

I will say no more.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
66. Not in the House.
Which is her bailiwick.
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AzNick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
67. We NEVER had 60 votes ANY-FVCK1NG-WAY!!!
Seriously, Nancy, it's about time...!!!
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Phlem Donating Member (580 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
68. Really Nancy!!!???
Then what the F is your boss doing?

Jeezus!!!! Mr. President, your constituents aren't tea baggers. We watch and pay attention and use critical thinking and find the truth to given situations, not misspell signs and march against our own best interests.

I knew your Bipartisan bullshit was not going to work when you were running but what am I supposed to do, vote for McCain and Brain Dead.

Anyone living under a rock would still know you can't negotiate with terrorists, especially treasonous Republicans.

Frankly your Bipartisanship BS is done. We all know that means your not going to do shit about it.

Everyone thinks your playing chess with the R's, but your base knows your playing us.

You need to actually DO SOMETHING of significance instead of giving us pretty speeches and putting on a show for us slapping R's around.

DO SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT FOR YOUR BASE, NO MORE FUCKING MEANINGLESS SPEECHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE'VE WAITED TO LONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-P

PS.. unless your out for yourself. That would match your actions cause the pretty words coming out of your mouth haven't matched your actions to date.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #68
107. .....
"I knew your Bipartisan bullshit was not going to work when you were running but what am I supposed to do, vote for McCain and Brain Dead."

Starting with pre-primary days, you had more options than voting for Obama or voting for McLame. You even had more options on election day.

The conventional wisdom--the "wisdom" that keeps people like you and me frustrated is that Democrats in office can safely ignore the left completely because the left has nowhere else to go. Therefore, Democrats need to skew right to attract right leaning independents and maybe even a few Republicans who are embarrassed by the religious right.


That "wisdom" is what keeps the Democratic Party (and therefore the nation) tacking to the right. That "wisdeom" would become nonsense if the left made its voice heard half as much as the Republican base does. Good ole "Mavericky" McCain changed about 200 of his positions and statements between 2000 and Election Day 2008. He knew he had to or he would never win a primary. How did he know that?

For one thing, the Republican base did not go to sleep between nominating and electing Dummya and the next primary. They stayed involved and made their voices heard loud and clear during the pre-primary months. Now, they even created themselves a separate, loudly vocal Party in practically no time.

Whether it ever actually elects candidates or not, the Tea Party will keep the pressure on Republican politicians to stay true to their base.

To make sure their voices are truly heard--and to keep this country from going even further right than it has--more Democrats need to get more involved at the Party level four years out of four. And as get loud and insistent as any Tea Party-er until classic Democrats start getting nominated again.

While we're at it, we have to convince the DNC to stop supporting incumbents, no matter what. And also to stop leaving primary winners like Connecticut's Lamont twisting slowly in the wind, simply bc Connecticut Democrats preferred Lamont over an incumbent like Traitor Joe.

Finally, we have to work until the Democratic Party drops its highly undemocratic Super Delegate policy and allows Democratic voters to choose the Democratic Presidential nominee again.
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
76. LOL, when is the last time a Senator gave a rat's ass about
advice coming from the "other body"?

To have any say in Senate rules & procedures, get elected to it.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #76
109. Realistically, she probably has more clout now with her bully pulpit about Senate rules
than she would ever have as a lone Senator. IMO, the Senate will not change those rules without an outcry from voters of both parties. Otherwise, no one will propose a change. And, if they do, a faux filibuster will stop the proposed change.

Congress has two Houses, the House of Representatives and the Rich Ole Boys' Club House, just like . Same way in the mother country.
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Clear Blue Sky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
78. Yes she is correct, but
60 votes needed to end debate. Not so easy to change as it is in the constitution. And not smart to change it as we won't have the majority in the Senate forever.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #78
110. I'd rather Democrats be able (and accountable) to legislate like Democrats when they are in
the majority than have them never be able to legislate like Democrats.

Regardless of what the Framers contemplated when they were getting ready to be the first nation to overthrow a monarchy, in our system today, elections SHOULD have consequences. Now, they seem to have consequences only when Republicans win them.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #78
126. There is nothing in the Constitution about 60 votes being needed
to end debate. That is a procedural matter decided by the Senate.
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Clear Blue Sky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-13-10 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #126
151. True. My bad. I looked it up and you are quite correct.
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
84. She's dreaming
the Republicans rule with a 41 to 59 majority. Everybody knows that. They ruled with a 40 to 60 majority.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #84
114. Maybe she's hoping that people like you and me will back her up by
contacting our Senators and otherwise agitating for change.

Either that, or she is trying to cover her back and the backs of her fellow House Democrats on the campaign trail right now. (Aren't they always?)
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #114
124. Yes.
That would be a nice headline. "A bunch of Democratic Senators decide to clean up their act!"
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
85. About time! n/t
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
93. Give the Vice President a "threshold" vote.
Fat lot of good it will do now with a 41-59 split, but in the spirit of letting the Vice President break up stalemates by casting a tie vote, allowing the Vice President to become the 60th vote for cloture would have saved us some grief over the past year.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #93
116. Please see Reply # 100.
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Indy Lurker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
97. Passing legislation and ending a Filibuster are two different things.



Why not let the Republicans Filibuster?

How long are they willing to hold up senate business to avoid a health care vote?

30 days?

60 days?

90 days?

Will they bring government and defense spending to a halt to avoid voting on health care?




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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
118. Not sure what diff it makes what Pelosi thinks. The Senate is pretty muched owned by CorpAmerica.nt
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GreenTea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
127. Go sweet, sweet Nancy....My San Francisco Home girl!
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troubledamerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
132. Sorry. Dems will be a minority someday, and then we're fucked.
Getting rid of the filibuster is like 1999's elimination of the Special Prosecutor Law.
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leftcoastie Donating Member (84 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
134. It's about time...
that there's a no-confidence vote for Reid's leadership.
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 02:20 AM
Response to Original message
136. k&r'd
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The Animator Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-12-10 06:09 AM
Response to Original message
138. If we are going to do an end run around the Rs because they won't work with us...
We might as well pass a truly universal health-care bill. What's the point of passing a watered down to worthless piece of legislation full of compromises meant to appease the opposition if the opposition is just going to vote against it anyway...

Then we can say "Hey, if you wanted a voice on this bill you should have worked with us when we were offering compromises."

I'm all for re-introducing civility into American Politics, but if they won't compromise, then why the hell should we?


P.S. One more post baby! Just one more and it's gonna be a beauty!"
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