My Photo

« I know you think you are, but what am I Friday open thread | Main | A whoops! Friday open thread »

October 21, 2021


Putting popular bills on the floor for debate and up or down vote would be good, but it would be busting the filibuster in any event, and would be opposed from the usual quarters, would it not?

Putting popular bills on the floor for debate and up or down vote would be good, but it would be busting the filibuster in any event

Not necessarily. You could preserve the filibuster (for those with a bizarre attachment there), just make the Senators go back to actually talking. No more just saying you would filibuster, with no need to exert yourself by carrying out the threat. Want unlimited debate? No problem . . . as long as you're willing to stand up and talk indefinitely.

When you have talked yourself out, then yes there's a vote. But the filibuster is intact. Admittedly not as good a solution as just getting rid of it. But something which might have a chance of getting enacted this term.

If a bill comes to the floor tomorrow, any senator can put a "silent filibuster" on it, and 60 votes would be required to end debate, something neither side can muster at this time. The majority could raise a "point of order" and tell the parliamentarian to take a hike, but I do not believe that would lead to a talking debate. It would lead only to a vote? The talking filibuster would take an official change to the rules, as I understand it.

But I might be wrong on this. It happens.

Regardless, if you are correct, why have the Dems not done as you have suggested? I would wager there are a significant number of Senate Dems, besides Joey and Krysten, who are not favorably inclined to end the filibuster, and Schumer simply does not have the votes.

Now why would that be?

I leave to you to figure that out.

actually, I prefer Ornstein's idea to make 40 senators actually be on the floor to vote to end debate. That effectively moves the pressure to the minority to continue debate. They have to be there and be counted.

bobby, I think it depends on exactly which Point of Order gets raised. But my understanding** is that it would be possible to do it so floor debate starts. Which would allow those who want it to preserve their beloved filibuster.

It could also be approached as you suggest. But that would result in getting rid of the filibuster. Which, no question, would be a Good Thing. But the votes aren't there, as you say.

The question is, are the votes there to restore the talking filibuster? I think they might be, if Schumer picks the test case bill carefully. My choice would be the Voting Rights bill that Manchin wrote. That would give him some skin in the game. (Might also answer the question about why it hasn't happened already. Manchin hadn't had yet his shot at achieving bipartisanship on something he wanted.)

** I might be wrong on this, too. Happens to us all.

The comments to this entry are closed.