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Politics The case against Democrats nuking the filibuster

19:40  22 january  2021
19:40  22 january  2021 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster

  Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster Senate Democrats appear unlikely to nuke the legislative filibuster, despite intense pressure from the left in the wake of this month's two victories in Georgia. Starting Wednesday, Democrats will control a unified government for the first time since 2010. But the slim 50-50 margin in the Senate is threatening to box in progressive hopes of going big with sweeping policies unless they can convince senators to nix the 60-vote hurdle that would require GOP support for most legislation. Supporters of going "nuclear" would need the support of every member of the Senate Democratic caucus to get rid of the filibuster, but several aren't on board.

Democrats have supposedly granted the principle that Republicans can filibuster a potential Democratic +Comments Leave a Comment. Why Democrats Partially Nuked the Filibuster . FLASH: Judge dismisses criminal case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn

The filibusters against civil rights were never democratically legitimate because they were based on elections There’s also a case for the filibuster in that it empowers individual senators; without it The more filibusters , the less stable the filibuster rule became. Democrats never did come close to

For the first time in a decade, Democrats have effective control of all three levers of lawmaking power in Washington: the House, the Senate and the presidency. And soon we’ll find out just how powerful that arrangement will be. New Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are locked in discussions about how the new 50-50 Senate will function, in which the most consequential point of contention is one thing: the filibuster.

The moment marks the culmination of years of a building liberal effort to get rid of the filibuster and its 60-vote threshold. Even past supporters of keeping the filibuster like Barack Obama and former Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) have said ending it should be on the table. And given Senate Democrats have will need 10 GOP votes to pass most legislation, plenty are arguing the time is now.

McConnell's plan to derail Democrats' takeover — and nuke the economy — is already in full swing

  McConnell's plan to derail Democrats' takeover — and nuke the economy — is already in full swing As McConnell kicks off his plan to filibuster Biden's presidency, his tool for obstruction needs to be taken away Bernie Sanders and Mitch McConnell Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

But Democrats changed Senate filibuster rules first. Senate rules have changed in recent years Eliminating the filibuster for presidential nominees. In 2013, Senate Democrats — then in the McConnell railed against the change at the time, though the 60-vote threshold still applied to high

The Filibuster Isn’t Going Anywhere. Why the “nuclear option” remains a progressive pipe dream. Under the so-called “nuclear option,” which Democratic and Republican Senate majorities have used in recent years to eliminate filibusters on presidential nominees, the legislative filibuster could be

But there are plenty of compelling — mostly practical — reasons to approach such a change cautiously.

The first is what it might open the door — both the good and the bad. Proponents of this move argue that Democrats shouldn’t squander an opportunity to pass an agenda at such a pivotal moment, especially as the administration combats the dueling problems of the coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying economic downturn. The New York Times’s Ezra Klein makes just such an argument.

But it’s also worth considering what this would mean both in the near term and, potentially, in just a few short years. The Democrats’ narrow majority provides some impetus for nuking the filibuster, because of the sheer number of GOP votes that would be needed for most legislation. It’s a lot easier to pick off four votes if you have a 56-44 majority than it is to pick off 10 in a 50-50 Senate. It’s very easy to see the Senate descending into one of its most gridlocked periods in an era already marked by gridlock.

Why Mitch McConnell relented on his demands about preserving the filibuster

  Why Mitch McConnell relented on his demands about preserving the filibuster McConnell didn’t get all he’d hoped, but got some Democrats to reaffirm their commitment to the filibuster.In the past few weeks, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and McConnell have been working to negotiate the organizing resolution — which governs committee membership and funding allocation — in the 50-50 Senate. The leaders had previously been at an impasse because McConnell was demanding that Democrats commit to keeping the legislative filibuster intact as part of the resolution, something Schumer was unwilling to do, since it would reduce the party’s leverage in negotiations over future legislation.

Political strategist Cliff Schecter explains the importance of Democrats exercising the nuclear option, the Republicans extreme obstruction, how Republicans

Senate Democrats are signaling they will reject an effort by Mitch McConnell to protect the legislative filibuster as part of a deal to run a 50-50 Senate, saying they Many Democrats argue that having the threat of targeting the filibuster will be key to forcing compromise with reluctant Republicans.

That 50-50 split also, though, might also negate much benefit from getting rid of the filibuster. Yes, they could pass everything with 50 votes given Vice President Harris will break ties. But if Republicans vote in unison, Democrats could afford precisely zero defections. Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) comes from one of the reddest states in the country, and Democrats could also struggle to win votes from senators like Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) or others who face reelection in tough states, like Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.). Manchin in particular looms as a tough vote for anything amounting to a truly bold, left-leaning agenda. On top of that, Democrats have few votes to spare in the House, with just a 10-seat majority — plenty like Manchin in Tester, with conservative constituencies — meaning there will remain obstacles to big change.

That 2022 election also looms for one main reason: It could well install Republicans back to control of the Senate and the House. Midterms are generally very tough on a president’s party, and Republicans need only the most modest of gains to take back both. Some see that as an argument for going bold now — time being of the essence — but it also means rolling back the most significant impediment to legislating could boomerang rather quickly.

Filibuster drama explained: McConnell will organize the new Senate now that he's confident Democrats won't gut the filibuster

  Filibuster drama explained: McConnell will organize the new Senate now that he's confident Democrats won't gut the filibuster Voices on both sides have called for filibuster reform in the past few years, citing partisan gridlock.Before allowing the new Democrat-controlled Senate to begin work, McConnell wanted a promise that Democrats would not eliminate the filibuster.

Democrats , it’s time to bid farewell to the filibuster as we’ve known it. In the hands of a Republican minority intent on frustrating President Barack Obama’s agenda, the filibuster has grown from a sparingly invoked procedural brake into a tool of open obstruction that Republicans use to slow or

Manipulating comments and posts via group voting is against reddit TOS. And Schumer is discussing it with him!! This is what drives me absolutely wild about elite Democrats . He loves the intricacies of policy- and this is no time for fucking games.

And on this count, Democrats need to consider how our politics are currently set up. The fact is that, despite Democrats’ current control, Republicans have inherent advantages when it comes to winning all three levers of power — and could just as soon reclaim the full control they had until two short years ago.

Since 2000, Republicans have won the popular vote in a presidential election once, but the electoral college has delivered them two additional victories. And in both the House and the Senate, our population is distributed in a way that also gives Republicans more representation than their raw votes suggest.

Despite Trump losing the popular vote in 2016, for instance, 30 of 50 states went red. He lost the popular vote in 2020 by more than four points, but still won half of states. That bears on the Senate. And throwing the GOP’s control of redistricting on top of how our population is distributed has also given the GOP a big edge in the House. Only twice in the last 20 years have Democrats had more House seats than their share of the popular vote would dictate, according to data from FairVote. After the last round of redistricting before the 2012 election, Republicans in three consecutive elections won at least 20 more seats than their share of the popular vote would suggest. They also control more of the upcoming gerrymandering process than Democrats, and while that control is less pronounced than a decade ago, it could well allow them to restore much of that advantage.

What McConnell got — and didn’t — on the filibuster

  What McConnell got — and didn’t — on the filibuster It’s unlikely that all of this changed too much. One thing we knew: The votes weren’t there to get rid of the filibuster right now. Democrats would need to vote in lockstep to abolish it, and several members have either said they wouldn’t support doing so or have reservations. The real question, then, was whether they would reserve the ability to do so at a later date, if their members decided that Republicans weren’t operating in good faith. So McConnell gave an ultimatum saying that the rules must require that the filibuster remain intact.

table: FairVote data on House control versus popular vote share. FairVote data on House control versus popular vote share.

The fundamentals of our politics are continually shifting and these advantages could wane over time. But while the Democrats control the trifecta right now, if one party seems more likely to exercise complete control in the near future, it would be Republicans. Even if they can just consistently get to even on the popular vote, they could well control all of Washington.

There is one very compelling rebuttal to this: The idea that the filibuster is on its way out anyway. Reid has said the end of the filibuster is a matter of when, not if. In 2013, Reid nuked it for non-Supreme Court judicial nominees in the face of a GOP blockade. The GOP under McConnell then in 2017 got rid of it for the Supreme Court so they could confirm Neil M. Gorsuch. Who’s to say it won’t continue to be eroded when it suits the party in power, and that the party that kills it won’t be the Republicans. The argument is often accompanied by the idea that, if the bare-knuckled McConnell were in Schumer’s shoes right now, he wouldn’t hesitate to take this step.

It bears noting, though, that McConnell was in something amounting to Schumer’s shoes four years ago. While he nuked the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, he didn’t do so for everything else. And it would have been fruitful; the GOP at the time held the Senate and had both the presidency and a sizable House majority. Then-President Trump even pressured McConnell to do it, but it didn’t happen. Perhaps it was less feasible then, and perhaps he’d have a different view today, but it’s not necessarily inevitable once roles are reversed.

Schumer Pushed by Progressives to Defy Republicans on Filibuster

  Schumer Pushed by Progressives to Defy Republicans on Filibuster Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is under pressure from progressives to eliminate the longstanding filibuster rule that lets the chamber’s minority block legislation, a politically explosive step aimed at clearing a path for President Joe Biden’s agenda. The struggle exposes fault lines within the Democratic Party as outside groups push centrist members to join progressive senators like Elizabeth Warren in calling for changes to allow Democrats to pass bills with just 51 votes. Their top target is ending the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to act on most legislation.

There’s one clear reason for that: this isn’t just up to Schumer or McConnell. They need to get enough votes to change the rules, and that’s hardly a given. Even if Schumer wants to do this today, Manchin said flatly after the election, “I will not vote to do that.” In 2017, fully 61 senators from both parties signed a letter in favor of keeping the legislative filibuster. Many of them have shifted since then, particularly the Democrats. But only a handful — and in today’s case, one — is needed to prevent such a change.

Could McConnell marshal enough votes if and when the opportunity presents and if he pushes it hard? Perhaps, but there were 28 Republican senators on that letter, even when they were set up to dominate the agenda by taking the opposite position.

Given all of that, the most immediate question isn’t really whether Democrats will nuke the filibuster right now, which they probably can’t do even if they wanted to. The real issue is whether and how they will preserve that option in case they determine, in the months ahead, that Republicans are obstructing too much. McConnell is pushing Schumer to take such a change off the table — to guarantee the filibuster won’t be nuked.

Agreeing to those terms appears nearly impossible for Schumer, given the growing thirst in his base for a filibuster-free Senate. He said Friday morning that such a guarantee is “unacceptable — and it won’t be accepted.”

But the outcome and its particulars are important, given how consequential this change would be for the future of American politics. It would surely be one of the most significant developments in modern political history.

Thus, Democrats need to balance their desire for immediate gratification — and just how much actual gratification it would provide — with what it might mean for the near future of their party.

Opinion: McConnell's defense of the filibuster is a farce .
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is doing everything possible to save the filibuster now that Republicans have lost control of the upper chamber. This rule allows senators to keep speaking on the floor to delay or block legislation that has majority support. The only way to stop a filibuster is for a certain number of senators to vote to invoke "cloture," which today requires a supermajority of 60 votes — a high threshold that is rarely reached.

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This is interesting!