March 10, 2010

Filibustering the Filibuster?

Posted: 04:30 PM ET

By Manu Raju

Senate Democrats on Wednesday sought to inject fresh momentum into efforts to overhaul the filibuster, with top Democrats laying the groundwork to reform the procedural weapon next year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has long been opposed to changing the filibuster, said Wednesday that the Senate was "likely" going to have to make changes to the tool next year – complaining that it has been abused by Republicans.

"The filibuster has been abused. I believe that the Senate should be different than the House and will continue to be different than the House," Reid told liberal bloggers, according to the Huffington Post. "But we're going to take a look at the filibuster. Next Congress, we're going to take a look at it. We are likely to have to make some changes in it, because the Republicans have abused that just like the spitball was abused in baseball and the four-corner offense was abused in basketball."

Reid comments came as we was preparing to meet Wednesday afternoon with junior Democrats who are clamoring for a more confrontational approach to the GOP minority – including a more sustained effort to overhaul the filibuster. And they came after Sen. Chuck Schumer, No. 3 in Senate leadership, announced that his Rules and Administration Committee would hold a series of hearings looking at overhauling the practice.


Filed under: Politics is King

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A. Smith, Oregon   March 10th, 2010 5:45 pm ET

There are some 290 bills passed by the US Congress, many on bipartisan votes which are being held up by the Republican Senator's obstructions in the Senate chambers. Some 80 of those bills are for laws and changes which are large in their scope.

There is no time to lose Sen. Harry Reid, use a simple UP or Down vote on all pending legislation in the Senate Chamber until the filibuster rule is changed. DON'T wait yet another 10 Months for relief!!! Break the logjam of 290 Congressional Bills, use a simple UP or DOWN Senate Vote on all pending legislation.

Kat   March 10th, 2010 7:38 pm ET

These politicians who are now resigning had already planned to IF the black Pres O won the presidency. They could not have just walked out right after he won because it would have been too obvious so they waited awhile. They made sure that they made enough mess and caused enough delay to get him to fail before resigning. Soem of you people make me want to SICK!! RACIST! None of them wants to admit it but we know that many are agaisnt him this much becaus eof his skin shade. I would suggest that you stop burning yourself in the sun if you have such an problem with our skin tone. It is ok for black men to die in Iraq and Afghan but not ok for them to be president? McCain acts as if the presidency is owed to him. At least he lived to tell the bloody tale. Many of our black young men died! Heard that McCain, they died so stop fighting Obama and do what is best for America's healthcare. You are not running the country, Pres O is! You all had your chance and you screwed it along with the mistresses!!

Kat   March 10th, 2010 7:47 pm ET

Republicans after wasting all the money that Clinton left now wants to act as if they were great spenders while in office? You all had your chance at running the country and you all screwed it along with the mistresses!!

STOP holding Americans hostage for a HC system that gets worst every passing day,

What could be worst than to have voted for a war that has made Iran into the terror it is?

The Publicans care more about their career than children dying from insurance companies denying kidney transplants. They all make me want to sick!

CHM   March 10th, 2010 8:17 pm ET

Reid certainly made a fool of himself today when he said the Supreme Court should consist of some legislators. I can't think of anything worse than a politician on the Supreme Court.

A. Smith, Oregon   March 10th, 2010 8:48 pm ET

@ CHM, I hope that Sen. Harry Reid has not bungled a great opportunity for the Democrats to begin leveling the playing field between Military vs Domestic spending. Democratic Senators should be seriously thinking of replacing Sen. Harry Reid as the majority speaker if he continues to enable the Republican Senatorial obstruction movement.

CHM   March 10th, 2010 10:25 pm ET

@A. Smith,
Yes, very true.

A. Smith, Oregon   March 11th, 2010 5:22 am ET

Bush-Cheney and the Republican party are still sticking it to the ranks of the disabled and elderly across America:

A provision slipped into the 2008 Farm Bill under the Republican led Bush-Cheney administration is set to impact senior citizens and disabled Americas who owe for a wide variety of debts and loans by the US Govt. longer than 10 years ago! A little-noticed Republican law will soon result in smaller Social Security checks for hundreds of thousands of the elderly and disabled who owe the U.S. money from defaulted loans and other debts more than a decade old. The U.S. Govt. can collect debts to federal agencies by "offsetting," or withholding Social Security and disability payments.

The Treasury currently withholds benefits of 3.1 million Social Security recipients to recover defaulted student-, farm- and small-business loans, unpaid income taxes, amounts veterans owe for health care, and other debts to the government. Previously, the U.S. hasn't been able to withhold Social Security payments to recover most debts delinquent for more than ten years.

But a Republican led Bush-Cheney provision in the 2008 Farm Bill lifted the ten-year statute of limitations on the government's ability to withhold Social Security benefits in collecting debts other than student loans—for which the statute of limitations was lifted in 1997—and income taxes, where the limit remains 10 years.

This means that a person who defaulted on a small-business loan in 1995, for example, and who is receiving Social Security could be notified that his benefits may be reduced each month until the debt, with interest, fees, and penalties, is paid. The Treasury can withhold 15% of the benefit, though it can't be reduced to below $750. Tax debts have no floor. The change will add more than $6 billion to the $75 billion in delinquent debt individuals owe the government, according to the Financial Management Service, the Treasury's debt collection unit.

The complete and total lack of compassion during these difficult economic times could not be plainer of the Republican Party in springing this ancient debt collection upon the disabled and the elderly who are among the most vulnerable at this time.

Jim Carroll   March 11th, 2010 10:04 am ET says, Give Californiaa some money.
Since the states gave up their right to create money, the Federal Government has the
responsibility to create the money the states need to balance their budgets. Article 1,
Section 8, of the Constitution gave the Federal Government power to create money.
Money must be created first before equal value can be created. The Federal Government
needs to create enough new money now to give each state five hundred million dollars for
each member of congress, which would be equal distribution. Goods and services is what
has real value–not money, which is mostly numbers on a computer chip. Over 5% growth
in GDP proves that money must be created before equal value can be created. The stimulas
and the bail-outs of banks and auto makers increased the GDP.

California could create its own money by making it good only in the state of
California and exchangeable with the dollar in California. Since the Federal Government
has a stupid money policy, there is no need for California to be broke when money is only
a medium of exchange for goods and services. California could withdraw from the United States
and become a new country. It could then create its own money supply like 191 other countries– which
would be good anywhere in the world. This would get the USA of the off of a gold standard mentality.
Article 1, Section 8, Constitution gives the Federal Government the power to keep a balanced money supply. New money
should be made available to all the states without any matching funds required for creating jobs and funding new
businesses which produces new jobs. Goods and services have real value. Money is only numbers on a computer chip
which exchanges goods and services. Get educated at the

Rob   March 11th, 2010 12:07 pm ET

Keep re-arranging the chairs on the ship as it goes down fella's.As the politicians dither,bluster and bumble their way through another congress the country is practically bankrupt,overextended throughout the world and bloated to an obscene size. How about appointing another commission to study the problem?

Ted   March 11th, 2010 12:08 pm ET

@ A. Smith

In my opinion everyone should repay their loans and pay all their obligations, regardless how long it is outstanding.
Billions of dollars of student and other loans were never repaid, although the recepients were making good money.

Ted   March 11th, 2010 12:56 pm ET

@ Jim Carroll

If we did what you suggest the value of the dollar would plumet, we would have a hyper inflation that would make your eyes bulge, paying $50 or more for a gallon of gas and in a year or two we were forced to have a currency reform.

European countries did just that after the WWs, printed more and more money, at the end you had to pay millions for an egg.
Is that what you wish with our greenback?

Greenspan already ruined our economy with his low interest and plenty money policy. We would never had this financial crises and the real estate problems if money was kept tight and interest rates 1-2% higher than the inflation.

A. Smith, Oregon   March 11th, 2010 6:05 pm ET

@ Ted, our entire financial system runs on the ethical aspect of good faith lending, meaning it is in good faith that loan is going to be repaid. I don't advocate people go out to get loans they never intended to repay.

Given the extremely difficult and hard economic times and situation that placed upon many of Americans receiving disability payments and social security income is the only thing keeping them alive, The Republican bill forcing them to repay ancient debts NOW is without any compassion whatsoever. Such bills should be set aside until the economy returns to some semblance of stability and health coverage is available for less than your house payments.

It is very historically clear that Republicans took full advantage in the previously HUGE Texas savings and loan foobar. Where huge loans for non-existant Malls and construction projects were handed out while the Republican administration of Reagan-Bush was in office. And those people HAD NO INTENTION of repaying those huge loans back.

Until Bush jr. began his rein of horror, his father Bush sr. was in the White House during the largest bank robbery in American History. They stuck it to the American taxpayers for a full decade, even when those bad loans were sold at pennys per taxpayer dollar, it greatly benefited Texan insiders who certainly backed Bush sr.

Ted   March 12th, 2010 11:53 am ET

@ A. Smith

Everyone should repay the loans and I mean everyone!
Those criminals in Texas should have been prosecuted at that time and put in jail.
The Bush family got rich on corruption.

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