February 12, 2009
The Ball’s in Your Court, Harry

From Brady Bonk, at Ketchup Is a Vegetable:

Allow me to once again paraphrase one of my moonbat radio talkers, Thom Hartmann, for an excellent point he made yesterday.

It is a misconstrued myth that passage of anything in the Senate requires 60 votes or more. That magic number is actually a simple majority: 51. What requires 60 votes is a procedural vote known as cloture, a call to question, which means, essentially, “shut up and vote.” Though, as Senate rules stand, it doesn’t actually mean that.

Senate Rule 22 allows for a “procedural” filibuster, by which senators can simply declare a filibuster but do not have to stand and speak to maintain said filibuster. This is fine except in the case where the pain-in-the-ass minority party applies the filibuster to everything and anything, to the point where the expectation is that you must have 60 votes or more secured to accomplish anything.

This is a situation that saps democracy. Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid needs to force filibustering senators to talk, something he can do by just waving his magic wand. Otherwise, there’s just an expectation that any legislation requires a supermajority vote.

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at February 12, 2009 12:34 PM
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I'm glad Thom figured this out. I got the tip initially from George Kenney at Electric Politics and it really makes it clear that the 60-vote hurdle (the cloture rule) is self-imposed and is there to provide cover to the inept and corrupt Senators like Reid who love to be able to say they just can't do the right thing. The cloture rule is a Senate rule, not a law, and it can be changed by majority vote.

Posted by: Charles on February 12, 2009 1:08 PM
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