Saturday, July 21, 2007

Obstruction By Any Other Name

The smell of bipartisanship is in the air. McClatchy (07.20.07):
"This year Senate Republicans are threatening filibusters to block more legislation than ever before, a pattern that's rooted in — and could increase — the pettiness and dysfunction in Congress.

The trend has been evolving for 30 years. The reasons behind it are too complex to pin on one party. But it has been especially pronounced since the Democrats' razor-thin win in last year's election, giving them effectively a 51-49 Senate majority, and the Republicans' exile to the minority.

Senate tied in knots by filibusters

"Seven months into the current two-year term, the Senate has held 42 'cloture' votes aimed at shutting off extended debate — filibusters, or sometimes only the threat of one — and moving to up-or-down votes on contested legislation. Under Senate rules that protect a minority's right to debate, these votes require a 60-vote supermajority in the 100-member Senate."

"Democrats have trouble mustering 60 votes; they've fallen short 22 times so far this year. That's largely why they haven't been able to deliver on their campaign promises."

Speaking of obstruction, remember them good old days, when the shoe was on the other foot?

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