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Time to ditch the filibuster

In case you missed it, the Charlotte Observer explained yesterday why it’s time, at long last, to “go nuclear” on the filibuster in the U.S. Senate:

“[Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid told reporters Tuesday that he was once again considering rules reform – which is shorthand for doing away with filibusters on judicial and executive nominations by allowing a simple majority vote for approvals. A senior aide made that “nuclear option” sound even more likely in an interview with the Washington Post, saying that it’s hard to envision Reid not changing the rules.

He should. The filibuster, once a useful tool designed to give the minority party more influence in confirmations and legislation, is now a tactic overused by both parties to strip the president of the appointment powers the Constitution has given him.

Well over 100 of Obama’s executive and judicial nominees – including U.S. Rep. Mel Watt of Charlotte, who was nominated to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency – have seen their nominations stalled because the Senate requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. That means just 40 senators can stop nominees from getting the consideration and yes-or-no vote they deserve….”

Read the rest of the editorial by clicking here.

5 Comments

  1. Jim Wiseman

    November 21, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Be careful! It cuts both ways!

  2. ML

    November 21, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Definitely the right call bc the repubs would have gone nuclear long ago if the roles were reversed.

  3. Alan

    November 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG Overdue. To listen to McConnells floor speech today made me want to vomit. The only people to blame for the so called nuclear option is the GOP itself. Be careful what you filibuster, it cuts both ways….

  4. GOP Rules

    November 22, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Alan/ML/paid Policy Watch Intern, Good to see you (not plural you know) agree nowadays. What were you saying back in ’05 when the democrat party was blocking most Bush nominees? Are you now in favor because your president is being blocked? Will you still be in favor when the democrat party loses the senate? It will be funny to see the whiplash effect say….next year this time. Having no filibuster will be some kind of “dirty trick” the GOP put in place way back in 2013.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/29/opinion/29tue1.html?_r=1&

  5. ML

    November 22, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    http://m.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/charts-explain-why-democrats-went-nuclear-filibuster

    This is why we went nuclear. Some may have been opposed but it is nothing close to the obstruction president Obama has seen. There is no disputing these facts no matter how much you bitch and moan about mother jones. Dems filibustered 5/yr nominees against 16/yr to Obama. For those math impaired posters that’s more than 3 times what bush faced.

    Moreover, the term “court packing” repubs like to use as their excuse is a complete misnomer. The term was coined during FDR’s presidency as he threatened to pack the court by raising the number of Supreme Court justices from 9 to 12 since they continued to override the new deal legislation. That is what court packing means and is not pertinent in describing obama’s exercise of his and every presidency constitutionally mandated duty to appoint people to executive and judicial posts.