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Does a rule have to be changed?

Firehorse

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I'm all down with the whole compromise thing. I get how it works and what happens when it doesn't. I understand all that. I know that this will quickly devolve into a partison discussion, but I hope to get a few resonces that actually adress the situation.

I'm speaking about the Senate Majority Leader Role. He decides what bills are brought before the members of the Senate for a vote. If a bill is proposed in the House and passes, the Majority seat holder can then in effect kill that bill by not allowing a vote on it in the Senate.

If a bill does not match his personal ideals, he is allowed by the rules to not bring the bill for a vote by the peoples reprecentatives.

I'm not sure if this was the plan as laid out by the founding fathers for one member of the Senate to be able to effect policy as such in this manor.

Should the time that a Majority Leader is allowed to 'sit on a bill' be limited in some way? Maybe a year or so many sessions or something? Does something need to be rewritten?
 

editec

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I'm not remotely qualified to address the mechanics of Congress, but I certainly agree with you that reform is probably a good idea.

I'd like, as one example, a law that insured that every aspect of a bill would address one subject and one subject only.

Instead what is typically done is a compromise where two often dramatically different political issues are solved with one bill.

For instance, if you want support for a war, you must also agree to changes in banking regulations.

That kind of thing results in some very strange compromises that do not serve this nation very well.
 
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Firehorse

Firehorse

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Let me give an example so it doesn't become a "trash the current speaker" topic.

House writes a bill during wartime that gives troops body armor. It passes with a high number of votes, the war is a popular war and the law would likely get a vast majority approval vote in the Senate, but the Majority Leader doesn't like the war .. So he doesnt bring it up for a vote.

Is this what the founding fathers had in mind for the power of that particular seat in the Senate?
 
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Firehorse

Firehorse

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I'm not remotely qualified to address the mechanics of Congress, but I certainly agree with you that reform is probably a good idea.

I'd like, as one example, a law that insured that every aspect of a bill would address one subject and one subject only.

Instead what is typically done is a compromise where two often dramatically different political issues are solved with one bill.

For instance, if you want support for a war, you must also agree to changes in banking regulations.

That kind of thing results in some very strange compromises that do not serve this nation very well.


I agree wholeheartedly and would have eventually started a topic on this subject. :)
 

FA_Q2

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I'm not remotely qualified to address the mechanics of Congress, but I certainly agree with you that reform is probably a good idea.

I'd like, as one example, a law that insured that every aspect of a bill would address one subject and one subject only.

Instead what is typically done is a compromise where two often dramatically different political issues are solved with one bill.

For instance, if you want support for a war, you must also agree to changes in banking regulations.

That kind of thing results in some very strange compromises that do not serve this nation very well.

That is a hard rule to enforce as a single topic is hard to define. Is HCR a single topic? Not really. It deals with a number of topics that are connected in some way but not really the same. I would like to see riders completely abolished though. That is an asinine concept in general. There is no reason that a rider can be attached to a bill. If they want a change, introduce another bill.

As far as the OP goes, I would agree. There is no call for one member to have that kind of power, EVER. That is the presidents place, to veto a bill that he does not agree with. The senate is a place where multiple people get together to pass a bill. It should stay that way. If the leader of the senate does not want a bill passed, he should be able to garner enough support within his party to at least filibuster the bill if not get it killed.
 

MeBelle

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Let me give an example so it doesn't become a "trash the current speaker" topic.

House writes a bill during wartime that gives troops body armor. It passes with a high number of votes, the war is a popular war and the law would likely get a vast majority approval vote in the Senate, but the Majority Leader doesn't like the war .. So he doesnt bring it up for a vote.

Is this what the founding fathers had in mind for the power of that particular seat in the Senate?

Congress appropriates money for defense spending. The pentagon decides if money needs to be spent on body armor.

Can you give another, more general, example?
 
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I'm not remotely qualified to address the mechanics of Congress, but I certainly agree with you that reform is probably a good idea.

I'd like, as one example, a law that insured that every aspect of a bill would address one subject and one subject only.

Instead what is typically done is a compromise where two often dramatically different political issues are solved with one bill.

For instance, if you want support for a war, you must also agree to changes in banking regulations.

That kind of thing results in some very strange compromises that do not serve this nation very well.

It may worry you as much as it does me.... I agree.
 

editec

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I'm not remotely qualified to address the mechanics of Congress, but I certainly agree with you that reform is probably a good idea.

I'd like, as one example, a law that insured that every aspect of a bill would address one subject and one subject only.

Instead what is typically done is a compromise where two often dramatically different political issues are solved with one bill.

For instance, if you want support for a war, you must also agree to changes in banking regulations.

That kind of thing results in some very strange compromises that do not serve this nation very well.

That is a hard rule to enforce as a single topic is hard to define.

Yes it might be sometimes, I agree.

But we can usually all see when the issues at hand are wildly NOT germane to thoriginal intent of the proposed bill in question.
Is HCR a single topic? Not really. It deals with a number of topics that are connected in some way but not really the same. I would like to see riders completely abolished though. That is an asinine concept in general. There is no reason that a rider can be attached to a bill. If they want a change, introduce another bill.

Yes, bills working on grand issues are likely to be very complex, not doubt.


As far as the OP goes, I would agree. There is no call for one member to have that kind of power, EVER. That is the presidents place, to veto a bill that he does not agree with. The senate is a place where multiple people get together to pass a bill. It should stay that way. If the leader of the senate does not want a bill passed, he should be able to garner enough support within his party to at least filibuster the bill if not get it killed.

The procedure mechanics in Congress reinforce the DUELOPOLY in that they give authority to majority leaders to appoint the heads of the oversite committees, and hence, to control which bills even reach the floor of Congress.

Not at all sure how to solve that problem, really.
 

FA_Q2

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The procedure mechanics in Congress reinforce the DUELOPOLY in that they give authority to majority leaders to appoint the heads of the oversite committees, and hence, to control which bills even reach the floor of Congress.

Not at all sure how to solve that problem, really.
Simple, eliminate comities. I really do not see the point in their existence other than to create a bloated bureaucratic power structure that is not only unnecessary but also detrimental. Each congressman should be able to put fourth bills of their own accord. The number might need to be limited so you dont end up with too many bills to address.


It will never happen though. The 2 parties do not want to give up their power. Eliminating the process would give individual senators more power and take power away from the party structures to influence and control their members.
 

Sallow

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I'm not remotely qualified to address the mechanics of Congress, but I certainly agree with you that reform is probably a good idea.

I'd like, as one example, a law that insured that every aspect of a bill would address one subject and one subject only.

Instead what is typically done is a compromise where two often dramatically different political issues are solved with one bill.

For instance, if you want support for a war, you must also agree to changes in banking regulations.

That kind of thing results in some very strange compromises that do not serve this nation very well.

I think that there are bills that probably could be brought to a public referendum if congress refuses to act on them.

But that would have to be very strictly and narrowly defined.
 

ladyliberal

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Did the founders envision a single Senator having the power to thwart the will of the majority of Senators? Yes, absolutely. Parliamentary maneuvering of this sort was common in state legislatures and in England. The Constitution sanctions it:

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

The Constitution envisions strong checks and balances on the federal government. If a single Senator had the power to *pass* a bill, that might have upset the framers, but a single Senator blocking a bill is consistent with what they designed.

Mind you, I'm not a fan of Senate rules (or House rules, for that matter) but they clearly fall well within Constitutional parameters. Reid of course isn't the only one holding things up-- the Republican minority is preventing an unprecedented number of appointments through the threat of filibuster, and only rarely on the merits of the nominee.
 
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Firehorse

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Oh geez lady ... Don't mention people or party by name, it will totally derail the topic. I font have a problem with filibusters. I mostly have a problem with and Majority Leaders ability to bybass the voting ability if the Senate body and kill a bill reguardless of opposition or support from either or both parties.
 
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Firehorse

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In the body armor example, if the Pez vetos such a popular bill, then Congress gathers the votes to over ride the veto. The is no "overwhelming support" to bypass the Majority Leader sitting on a bill
 

FA_Q2

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Did the founders envision a single Senator having the power to thwart the will of the majority of Senators? Yes, absolutely. Parliamentary maneuvering of this sort was common in state legislatures and in England. The Constitution sanctions it:

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

The Constitution envisions strong checks and balances on the federal government. If a single Senator had the power to *pass* a bill, that might have upset the framers, but a single Senator blocking a bill is consistent with what they designed.

Mind you, I'm not a fan of Senate rules (or House rules, for that matter) but they clearly fall well within Constitutional parameters. Reid of course isn't the only one holding things up-- the Republican minority is preventing an unprecedented number of appointments through the threat of filibuster, and only rarely on the merits of the nominee.

No one ever said that it was unconstitutional. I don't really care what the founders thought on this manner and s a matter of fact, you do not know what they would have thought anyway. There is nothing that they wrote that would give insight as to whether or not they thought a single senator should have that kind of power. They left the rules up to the individual houses to establish so it is constitutional but it is not right. It should be changed but the only way for that to happen is through congress itself and that is not going to happen. So unfortunate.
 

ladyliberal

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Did the founders envision a single Senator having the power to thwart the will of the majority of Senators? Yes, absolutely. Parliamentary maneuvering of this sort was common in state legislatures and in England. The Constitution sanctions it:

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

The Constitution envisions strong checks and balances on the federal government. If a single Senator had the power to *pass* a bill, that might have upset the framers, but a single Senator blocking a bill is consistent with what they designed.

Mind you, I'm not a fan of Senate rules (or House rules, for that matter) but they clearly fall well within Constitutional parameters. Reid of course isn't the only one holding things up-- the Republican minority is preventing an unprecedented number of appointments through the threat of filibuster, and only rarely on the merits of the nominee.

No one ever said that it was unconstitutional. I don't really care what the founders thought on this manner and s a matter of fact, you do not know what they would have thought anyway. There is nothing that they wrote that would give insight as to whether or not they thought a single senator should have that kind of power. They left the rules up to the individual houses to establish so it is constitutional but it is not right. It should be changed but the only way for that to happen is through congress itself and that is not going to happen. So unfortunate.

I was keying off of the question in the original post of whether this was what the founders envisioned. To my mind, that suggested the Constitutionality was at issue. You're right though that no one said in this thread that the filibuster was unconstitutional. Lots of people have said it in other venues though: see, EG (also contains some ideas on how to get rid of the filibuster), Op-Ed Contributor - Mr. Smith Rewrites the Constitution - NYTimes.com
 

alan1

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I'm not remotely qualified to address the mechanics of Congress,
Bullshit They are our employees, not our masters.
but I certainly agree with you that reform is probably a good idea.

I'd like, as one example, a law that insured that every aspect of a bill would address one subject and one subject only.

Instead what is typically done is a compromise where two often dramatically different political issues are solved with one bill.

For instance, if you want support for a war, you must also agree to changes in banking regulations.

That kind of thing results in some very strange compromises
that do not serve this nation very well.

People often speak of compromise as if it is always a good thing, and as if failure to compromise is a bad thing. It is not always a benefit to compromise. Your points are good ones.
 

uscitizen

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Very few of the rules congress goes by is specified in the constitution.
Congress should only go by the rules outlined in the constitution.
 

FA_Q2

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Very few of the rules congress goes by is specified in the constitution.
Congress should only go by the rules outlined in the constitution.

Do you mean like this rule specified in Article 1, Section 5 Para. 2:
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
It is fairly clear that the constitution leaves the rules up to the houses themselves. Other than that and few minor requirements like bookkeeping, the constitution is silent on how the houses should operate.
 

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