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Nullification lives - GOP blocks Cordray - blocking full enactment of a law passed by Congress

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Bill USA Donating Member (628 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-12-11 07:23 PM
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Nullification lives - GOP blocks Cordray - blocking full enactment of a law passed by Congress

The Senate on Thursday took up the nomination of Richard Cordray, President Obamas choice to lead the new consumer protection board. It did not vote to confirm him. The outcome isnt at all surprising. But its important to take a step back and understand just what is happening here, because Republicans aren't simply weakening consumer protection. They're also weakening American democracy.

Remember, the Senate didnt actually vote on Cordrays nomination. The vote never took place because the Republican caucus, with one exception, are supporting a filibuster the nomination. Together, they do not represent a majority. On the contrary, 53 senators voted to proceed with the vote. Had the vote taken place, a majority likely would have voted to confirm him. But thats the way the Senate works today: The majority doesnt rule. The minority does.

If you think thats a violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of the U.S. constitution, you are quite right. The document specifies instances when the president needs consent of a super-majority. Appointments like these are not among those instances.

But the reality actually even worse than it seems. The senators upholding the filibuster havent suggested Cordray is unqualified for the job. Rather, they are holding up the nomination because they dont like the agency he would head or the law it is supposed to enforce the Dodd-Frank Act, which is designed to police the banking and credit card agencies. Theyve said, explicitly and repeatedly, they will allow a vote on Cordray only if and when the president agrees to changes in the law.
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