Senators OK deal on filibusters, nominations

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Henry

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Let's hope this helps end some of the gridlock. Hopefully this is a sign of a little thaw between the parties.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/w...s/?rss_id=Boston.com+--+Top+political+stories

Senators OK deal on filibusters, nominations
By Paul Kane

WASHINGTON — Senate leaders announced a bipartisan deal yesterday to speed up the chamber’s work by limiting the use of the filibuster and dropping the confirmation process for about 400 federal agency nominees.

The broad agreement is the most significant change in 35 years.

Majority leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, and minority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, appearing together on the chamber floor at noon, left intact the minority’s right to block some legislation by requiring a 60-vote threshold through a threatened filibuster. But the leaders agreed to repeal the decades-old stalling tactics of secret holds — in which an anonymous senator could slow action on a bill — and the ability to force amendments to be read in their entirety on the floor.

Leaders said they hoped the deal — cemented in a series of votes and handshake agreements — would encourage the free-wheeling bipartisan debates that are part of the chamber’s lore but have become increasingly rare.

The highly partisan Senate of the 21st century has become bogged down in procedural maneuverings.

“We’re going to try to legislate,’’ Reid said in a brief interview after announcing the deal.

Perhaps the most fundamental shift, in terms of governance, was the agreement to reduce by one-third the number of federal government positions that require Senate confirmation. The current total stands at more than 1,200 slots, ranging from the secretaries of defense and state, to the part-time directors of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

The Senate often has a massive glut of pending nominees. The backlog drew much criticism in early 2009 when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner worked for months without his top advisers while waiting for the Senate to approve the appointments.

In December, as senators finished their work for the 111th Congress, 25 nominees to agencies and boards were left pending, approved by committees but not by the full Senate, and instead were returned to President Obama.

The new deal means hundreds of nominees to lower-level posts will no longer have to spend months, sometimes years, going through the confirmation process.

Judicial nominations are not affected by the deal.
 

Sarge

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We really don't have anything else to do but this? Really? Every party in power wants the filabuster to go away so they can plow over the other party. And of course the party in power wants it to stay so they don't get completely plowed over

Anyone ever think the Founders might have thought about that and wanted it that way?
 

servumtuum

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We really don't have anything else to do but this? Really? Every party in power wants the filabuster to go away so they can plow over the other party. And of course the party in power wants it to stay so they don't get completely plowed over

Anyone ever think the Founders might have thought about that and wanted it that way?
Probably not, Sarge. The original Senate had a cloture vote in the rules like the House of Representatives does allowing a majority to end debate-the "to move the previous question" motion. When Aaron Bur was VP and thus President of the Senate, he recommended that the Senate revise its rules removing the cloture motion which had only been used once in the first four years of the Senate because he considered it "redundant". The Senate complied and changed the rules which made filibusters possible but they didn't start showing up as an actual stalling tactic until the late 1830s-a famous use was in 1841 in the debate between Senator Henry Clay and Senator William R. King of Alabama over chartering the "Second Bank of the United States" in which Banks threatened to hold up debate that way. King and his backers won, by the way.

The word "filibuster" comes from French and Spanish words for "privateer" or "pirate" and was used to refer to a recurring problem the government was having at the time with private citizens getting involved in Latin American conflicts sometimes to the risk of then current foreign policy ( in violation of the Neutrality Act of 1818) and probably came into political usage here due to the long contentious debate going in the Senate over the extension of slavery into California happening simultaneously with the recurring problems with these "privateer" Americans. Possibly the blocking efforts in the Senate resembled the "individualized foreign policy". Apparently it was newspaper journalists who popularized the term from what I've found so far.

Sone thing don't change, apparently.:rolleyes:

Sources:

http://uncpress.unc.edu/browse/page/526

http://www.brookings.edu/testimony/2010/0422_filibuster_binder.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filibuster_in_the_United_States
 
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fansince62

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Let's hope this helps end some of the gridlock. Hopefully this is a sign of a little thaw between the parties.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/w...s/?rss_id=Boston.com+--+Top+political+stories

hey! maybe Reid will allow a floor vote on Obamacare repeal. afterall......Harry really, really cares about Democracy and ending the thaw between the parties. you know...that Harry...he does have that "thaw" dialect down. he can switch between thawese and stuff it dialects like nobody's business!
 

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