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Klobuchar, Franken pleased with Senate filibuster overhaul

REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Sen. Harry Reid asked the Senate to change its rules Thursday and require only a majority vote to end debate on those nominations going forward.

“This rules-change charade has gone from being a biennial threat, to an annual threat, to now a quarterly threat. It’s become a threat every time Senate Democrats don’t get their way,” McConnell said during an intense floor debate. “And their repeated promises at the end of every crisis, that they won’t threaten it again, just don’t seem to be worth any more than their promises on Obamacare.”

Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 11/21/2013 - 05:00 pm.

    And the Republicans wonder why

    No longer a need for Senator Cruz to read “Green Eggs and Ham”, as impressive as that my have been.

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/21/2013 - 08:05 pm.

    As the Democrats Proved Under George W. Bush

    They never have and never would use the filibuster to obstruct a duly-elected president’s right and ability to have a normal level of impact on the Federal Bureaucracy and the Federal Judiciary in the way the Republicans have done since President Obama was first elected (although some of us certainly wished they would have been at least a little bit obstructionist at that time).

    That being the case, despite the Republican’s dire predictions regarding what will happen the next time they gain the presidency and the senate together (if they ever do), NOTHING will have changed for Democrats in that circumstance. Democrats simply will not abuse their power as the minority party in the Senate in the same way the Republicans consistently have.

    Now, for the next year, President Obama will finally be able to appoint necessary leaders for every part of the Federal Bureaucracy and fill the 90+ vacancies in the Federal Courts, as he should ALWAYS have been able to do.

    This is NOT a step away from the normal functioning of the Federal Government, it is a RETURN to normal functioning of the Federal Government, necessitated by the unprecedented way Republicans have abused the tools made available to them as the minority party in the Senate for the past 5+ years.

  3. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 11/21/2013 - 09:23 pm.

    Democrats are going to rue the day

    when they voted for this. President Cruz will have some appointees that will make Robert Bork look like a liberal.

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 11/22/2013 - 07:07 am.


      I get all tingly when conservatives talk about Ted Cruz as a presidential contender. So does Hillary Clinton.

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 11/22/2013 - 07:53 am.

      Mr. Tester: Why did President Romney allow this to happen?


      Oh, wait, Mitt Romney isn’t president.

      I was confused for a bit, because you were absolutely sure that Mitt would win last year.

      But I’m sure your prediction of a Cruz victory in 2014 will be 100% right this time!

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/22/2013 - 08:29 am.

      “President Cruz”

      Mr. Tester, please don’t say things like that. I was drinking coffee, and it got all over my monitor and desk.

      I’m also getting a headache. thinking of all the possible rejoinders.

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 11/21/2013 - 09:46 pm.

    Oh, look what I found

    According to a May report from the Congressional Research Service, President Obama had 71.4% of his circuit court nominees approved during his first term, which is slightly better than George W. Bush’s 67.3% level of success during his first term.

  5. Submitted by jason myron on 11/22/2013 - 06:36 am.

    President Cruz?

    Quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever read on the internet. You people really do inhabit a parallel universe if you think that Cruz has any chance of ever holding that office.

  6. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 11/22/2013 - 07:04 am.

    What happened to minority rights?

    This is the coup of the 51%.

    Harry Reid will go do as one of the worst Senate leaders ever, along with his co-conspirators Senator Amy K and Big Al.

    We all know now that Obama is a Lame Duck and this act is the final reach for power of a failed president.

    Bi-partisan opposition tried to hold back this coup, but raw power triumphed over principle.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/22/2013 - 08:27 am.

      Minority rights?

      Do “minority rights” include effectively denying the President the power to appoint judges and other officials?

      Where in the Constitution so revered by conservatives are “minority rights” a limitation on Congressional powers to make its own rules (rules, not laws)? It seems to me that the drafters contemplated everything would be done by a straight majority vote.

  7. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/22/2013 - 08:32 am.

    As one prominent commentator noted:

    “This filibuster, as you know, they’re filibustering these nominations which requires essentially 60 votes for a judge to be confirmed. The Constitution says nothing about this. The Constitution says simple majority, 51 votes. But because they’re invoking the filibuster, which, you know, the Senate can make up its own rules but not when they impose on the Constitution and not when they impose on the legislative branch. Separation of powers here. But if nobody stops them, they’re going to keep getting away with it. It’s up to the Senate Republicans to stop them.


    If the Senate, which has the constitutional right to make its own rules, decides that it wants to require a super-majority vote to pass certain bills such as tax bills — and they can do that. They can write those rules all day long — such a rule would not infringe on presidential power. But to do so when it affects a presidential power, which takes us into a separation of powers issue, like the appointment of judges, that is unconstitutional, in my layman’s view.”

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