OpEdNews Op Eds

Tomorrow is D-Day in the Senate

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 1/4/11


Tomorrow will be a momentous day in the Senate or not. It marks the opening session of the new Congress whereby all rules changes governing how the Senate operates, including the filibuster, can be amended by a simple majority vote.

The operative words are "can be".

All incoming Democratic senators have signed on to a proposal calling for amending the filibuster rule and other rules i.e. "secret holds" (whereby any one senator can secretly stop any measure in its tracks) that are roadblocks (or better rabbit holes) where legislative proposals go to die.

The current use of (or better the threat of) the filibuster, particularly by the Republicans, has meant tyranny by the minority to kill any measure before it can come up for a vote, even whether something can be brought up for discussion.

The Republicans in the last session used the filibuster to absurd infinitum. As said previously now all it takes is the "threat" of a filibuster.

Traditionally, senators opposed to a measure would be required to be at the Senate podium and talk indefinitely (an actual "filibuster") as a way of expressing their opposition. It was done by Southern senators in the 1960's in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1965 that if enacted would end "legal" segregation in the South. But after several days using the "filibuster" even those die hard segregationists relented and the legislation was able to be brought up for a vote and passed. Today such landmark legislation is hard to imagine being forwarded much less passed under current Senate rules.

Minority rights should not be trampled upon. That idea has been a primary reason for the filibuster rule to remain in place. However when that minority can effectively prevent all measures it opposes from being considered, this is a perversion of minority rights that becomes the tyranny of a minority over the majority.

The filibuster rule was last amended in 1975 when a simple majority on the first day of that new Senate   voted to reduce the number of senators it would take (from 66 to 60) to end debate.

It is long past time for updated reform. Majority rule must again be restored in the Senate with all due respect for and consideration for the minority to voice their opposition; but not their stranglehold which they currently exert.

This basic reform needs to happen tomorrow. We will be watching.                

 

dglefc22733@aol.com

Retired. The author of "DECEIT AND EXCESS IN AMERICA, HOW THE MONEYED INTERESTS HAVE STOLEN AMERICA AND HOW WE CAN GET IT BACK", Authorhouse, 2009

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

An Ominous Foreboding, Israel vs Iran

The Evolving Populist Political Rebellion in the Arab World

A Nuclear War Would Be Insane

The Rich Get Richer, the Poor Get Poorer, While the Middle Class Gets Decimated

Iran Offers 9 Point Plan to end Nuclear Crisis, U.S. "No thanks".

The Danger of an Israeli Attack on Iran

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

They should have reformed the rules LAST SESSION, ... by Don Smith on Tuesday, Jan 4, 2011 at 11:47:24 PM
Don,Of course you're right. The Dems. in the Senat... by Dave Lefcourt on Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011 at 7:16:52 AM