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Filibuster Reform

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
The Plum Line - Harry Reid devising plan to press forward with filibuster reform, aide says

Filibuster reform may be a good thing. I don't understand it completely, but I guess right now the minority can just stand up and say "yeah we're going to filibuster" and that's it. Debate stops. I would like to see it changed so that the minority would have to actually have the 40 Senators in the Capital and actually filibuster the bill. Meaning, they would take the podium and speak their opposition continously for however long that takes: 10 hours, 100 hours, 6 months. I want to know a group of Senators really has conviction about stopping a bill and are not just doing it to please a lobbyist or donor. Filibuster reform will also make for a divided Senate. Conversely to most people, I think one of the biggest political problems today is not enough division. I think government is best when it does the least.
 
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maat

Registered Member
I would prefer it stay the way the Founders set it up. I have much more faith in them than Harry Reid.
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
There was no filibuster at founding. The filibuster today is under a silent or painless rule meaning that you don't have to actually hold the Senate hostage to launch a filibuster. This silent rule was enacted in the 70s.
In the 50s, Strom Thurmond filibustered for 24 hours straight. He thought that he could stall the legislation long enough to get other Senators to join him and to get the American people on his side. Thurmond was on the wrong side of the issue and he did not have the media and organization that we have today.

Harry Reid is wrong about what the rule change will do. He believes that a rule change will allow him to pass more legislation with less voter participation and one some bills he is right. On many issues however, a true filibuster would encourage more voter participation. We live in a time where if 40 Senators decide they are going to live in the Senate well until a piece of legislation gets stopped, people will come to Washington to support them. I would have loved to seen it during the first vote on ObamaCare.
 
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