The Nuclear Option

Discussion in 'Congress' started by Wiseacre, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    Last thursday night Harry Reid invoked the nuclear option to cutoff amendments to a bill with a simple 51% majority vote, overruling the Senate's parliamentarian. So, if the GOP retains the House and takes a majority in the Senate, even by a slim 51-49 majority, and they also put a repub in the WH, then ObamaCare is likely going to be history.

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    First, it could make it harder for Democrats to break GOP filibusters because Republicans may be even less willing to close off debate on legislation.

    Even worse for Democrats, the tactics Reid employed to change a Senate precedent could make it easier for Republicans to justify using similar procedures to force simple-majority votes on hugely contentious issues, such as repealing Democratic priorities like health care reform and Wall Street regulations, Senate experts on both sides of the aisle said Friday.

    The chaos began Thursday night when Senate Democrats voted 51-48 to effectively overturn the Senate parliamentarian on a ruling regarding amendments offered after the Senate invokes cloture — which shuts off debate. It was the first time in 11 years the parliamentarian had been voted down. While the rules in play are arcane, the impact could be significant — future Senate majorities may be encouraged to more regularly employ a similar procedure if their will is being blocked by the minority party on hot-button policy fights.


    How Reid rules change could backfire - POLITICO.com Print View


    The Senate is supposed to be the more deliberative body of Congress that should require more than a simple consensus to pass major legislation. Seemslike the Reid has given the GOP a free pass to do the same thing when they get control of the Senate. May not be in 2012, who know when, but what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
     
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  2. driveby
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    driveby Gold Member

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    Democrats have short and selective memories, they'll, with a straight face, act like it never happened when they were in power.....
     
  3. Inthemiddle
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    Inthemiddle BANNED

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    And so will the Republicans when it's convenient for them as well.
     
  4. Middleoftheroad
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    Middleoftheroad Active Member

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    Actually the rules are supposed to be that a simple majority is needed except in extreme cases. Until the last 40 years or so filibuster were rarely if every used, I created a thread about that a few weeks ago about it.[​IMG]
    I don't have a graph on filibusters, but this one is on cloture, the vote to end filibusters, the two are obviously tied together.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cloture_Voting,_United_States_Senate,_1947_to_2008.svg
     
  5. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    yes well using a parliamentary maneuver that hasn't been used since ww2, I'd say Reid and the dems have set themselves up for a big bite in the butt. it was stupid.
     
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  6. Ropey
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    Ropey To Life! Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I agree. I would not doubt that the the Senate will be lost by this procedure. The Democrats have to defend 23 seats versus 10 Republican in solid red states and they've just dummied themselves.

    It's clear to me that the Democrats have dug themselves into a fair term of minority status once again with the massive bungling of the economy for the past 3 years and their big spending games and multitudinous kickbacks to donors.

    Voters will vote with finances in mind. The Democrats will be held to account imo. I seriously doubt the the economy will reverse direction in time to help democrats and they have nothing to run on that I can see at any rate so it's interesting times ahead. I doubt that many independents will vote Obama this time around, and the Republican base will rise up far stronger than many Democrats may expect. I'm not saying that the Republicans can't mess this up as well. But they won't need a concerted effort to attack Obama either. Not with his Economic plans and proofs. If the Democrats would rather go down with their sinking ship so long as their Commander in Chief is at the helm, rather than allow anyone else on the ship to step up and save it, then so be it as they have had a long history of waking up far too late.
     
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  7. The Gadfly
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    The Gadfly Senior Member

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    Indeed it was. Some years back, when republicans had a majority in the senate, and democrats were doing the obstructing. there was talk of doing this; they eventually decided not to, for precisely this reason; it sets a precedent for the other side to do the same thing as soon as the roles are reversed. Democrats will pay dearly for this, perhaps sooner rather than later; it's like begging for retaliation in kind.
     
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  8. Richard-H
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    Richard-H Gold Member

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    I just wish that everyone would stop using phrases like "The Nuclear Option" when refering to people who actually have control of nuclear weapons!

    Unless they're actually refering to the use of those weapons....

    :blowup:
     
  9. Serithi
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    Serithi Rookie

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    Thats what politics are....!!
    Politicians are the hardest thing on earth to understand them...
     
  10. Meister
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    Meister Platinum Member Supporting Member

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    How about a "Poison Pill"?
     

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