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01-23-2013, 01:38 PM #1
We need fast info on the Cloture Vote rule suspension negoations in the Senate!
Fox News is reporting that Harry Reid is threatening to change the Cloture vote rules in the US Senate with or without Republican support so he can pass amnesty and gun grabs and pressure the Congress.
Fox says the GOP leaders in the Senate may be negotiating with Reid to make the Cloture vote change appear bipartisan in exchange for more favorable amendment rules.
We need fast and accurate intel on the situation with this.
If they change the Cloture rules the chances amnesty for illegal aliens will pass in the US Senate will rise from 79% to over 90% likely!
01-23-2013, 01:55 PM #2
I contacted my senators this morning ask them to do all possible to prevent this, however the GOP (IMO) appears to be in a giving mode.I'm old with many opinions few solutions.
01-23-2013, 02:01 PM #3
01-23-2013, 05:05 PM #4working4changeGuest
[B]Leader Reid, , uses cloture as a means of preventing Republicans from amending or debating a bill, long before anyone has even had a chance to discuss it. Because of Leader Reid’s hard-knuckled tactics, Republicans have opposed cloture motions in an attempt to leverage some participation in the legislative process. And this is what Harry Reid misleadingly calls a “filibuster.”
Opposing cloture is not a filibuster, as Senator Reid would like the public to believe.
Endless filibusters have not prevented the Democrat-led Senate from passing a budget over the past three years, preventing the so-called “fiscal cliff,” or taking steps to reduce our $16 trillion and rising debt. Harry Reid has.
Radical actions to take away minority powers will only further polarize the Senate and make it more difficult for Republicans and Democrats to find common ground.
Senator Jim DeMint: "Filibuster Reform" Is Misleading
Tyranny in the United States Senate
The Senate’s Supermajority Filibuster Cloture Rule is Unconstitutional
01-23-2013, 05:17 PM #5
The cloture rule originally required a supermajority of two-thirds of all senators "present and voting" to be considered filibuster-proof. For example, if all 100 Senators voted on a cloture motion, 67 of those votes would have to be for cloture for it to pass; however if some Senators were absent and only 80 Senators voted on a cloture motion, only 54 would have to vote in favor. However, it proved very difficult to achieve this; the Senate tried eleven times between 1927 and 1962 to invoke cloture but failed each time. Filibuster was particularly heavily used by Democratic Senators from Southern states to block civil rights legislation.
In 1975, the Democratic Senate majority, having achieved a net gain of four seats in the 1974 Senate elections to a strength of 61 (with an additional Independent caucusing with them for a total of 62), reduced the necessary supermajority to three-fifths (60 out of 100). However, as a compromise to those who were against the revision, the new rule also changed the requirement for determining the number of votes needed for a cloture motion's passage from those Senators "present and voting" to those Senators "duly chosen and sworn". Thus, 60 votes for cloture would be necessary regardless of whether every Senator voted. The only time a lesser number would become acceptable is when a Senate seat is vacant. (For example, if there were two vacancies in the Senate, thereby making 98 Senators "duly chosen and sworn", it would only take 59 votes for a cloture motion to pass.)
The new version of the cloture rule, which has remained in place since 1975, makes it considerably easier for the Senate majority to invoke cloture. This has considerably strengthened the power of the majority, and allowed it to pass many bills that would otherwise have been filibustered. (The Democratic Party held a two-thirds majority in the 89th Congress of 1965, but regional divisions among Democrats meant that many filibusters were invoked by Southern Democrats against civil rights bills supported by the Northern wing of the party). Some senators wanted to reduce it to a simple majority (51 out of 100) but this was rejected, as it would greatly diminish the ability of the minority to check the majority.
The three-fifths version of the cloture rule does not apply to motions to end filibusters relating to Senate Rule changes. To invoke cloture to end debate over changing the Senate Rules, the original version of the rule (two-thirds of those Senators "present and voting") still applies.
The procedure for "invoking cloture," or ending a filibuster, is as follows:
- A minimum of sixteen senators must sign a petition for cloture.
- The petition may be presented by interrupting another Senator's speech.
- The clerk reads the petition.
- The cloture petition is ignored for one full day during which the Senate is sitting. For example, if the petition is filed on Monday, it is ignored until Wednesday. (If the petition is filed on a Friday, it is ignored until Tuesday, assuming that the Senate did not sit on Saturday or Sunday.)
- On the second calendar day during which the Senate sits after the presentation of the petition, after the Senate has been sitting for one hour, a "quorum call" is undertaken to ensure that a majority of the Senators are present. However, the mandatory quorum call is often waived by unanimous consent.
- The President of the Senate or President pro tempore presents the petition.
- The Senate votes on the petition; three-fifths of the whole number of Senators (sixty with no vacancies) is the required majority; however, when cloture is invoked on a question of changing the rules of the Senate, two-thirds of the Senators voting (not necessarily two-thirds of all Senators) is the requisite majority. This is commonly referred to in the news media as a "test vote".
After cloture has been invoked, the following restrictions apply:
- No more than thirty hours of debate may occur.
- No Senator may speak for more than one hour.
- No amendments may be moved unless they were filed on the day in between the presentation of the petition and the actual cloture vote.
- All amendments must be relevant to the debate.
- Certain procedural motions are not permissible.
- The presiding officer gains additional power in controlling debate.
- No other matters may be considered until the question upon which cloture was invoked is disposed of.
The ability to invoke cloture was last attained by a US political party in the 111th Congress, by the Democrats, with the help of two independents.
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01-23-2013, 05:25 PM #6
Senate Democrats Lack Votes for 'Talking Filibuster' Plan
Democratic senators favoring the most robust overhaul of the chamber’s filibuster rules do not have the votes to enact a “talking filibuster,” even with a simple majority, according to the top Democratic vote-counter.
“I would say, at this point, the talking filibuster does not have 51 votes,” Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin of Illinois told reporters Wednesday.
That proposal, championed by several Democratic senators, including relative newcomers Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Tom Udall of New Mexico, would require senators objecting to legislation to hold the floor in order to maintain a filibuster, in a style similar to the title character portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in the film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Veteran Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., has long supported such a rules change.
The reality, though, is that modern filibusters do not operate like in the Hollywood portrayal, and it appears the Senate is unwilling to go that far in changing the chamber’s rules.
Durbin said he thinks the votes exist to make other significant modifications through use of the “constitutional” or “nuclear” option of a simple-majority vote at the start of a new Congress.
Momentum seems to be behind a package that would eliminate filibusters on motions to proceed, cut down post-cloture debate time on nominations and curb or eliminate filibusters on sending bills to conference with the House. Durbin also suggested Democrats would have the votes to set up a process requiring 41 votes to maintain a filibuster if they went out on their own.
Durbin suggested work continues on a plan that would require objecting senators to hold the floor after any successful vote to limit debate, or invoke cloture. Currently, the Senate must automatically wait 30 hours after invoking cloture, but some Democrats would like to shorten that time if no senators are willing to come to the floor to continue their objections.
“Ultimately what happens post-cloture and you have the 30 hours, what is your obligation on the floor? We all believe there should be an obligation on the floor or move the question,” he said.
As for a negotiated settlement, work continues between Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to avert the expected partisan, procedural standoff that would result from any Democratic action to change the rules by a simple majority vote. Republicans argue that Senate rules do not allow such changes in the rules, arguing they are entitled to erect a 67-vote hurdle to rules changes.
“I will continue to work with the Republican leader today on a package of reforms that will help the Senate operate more efficiently,” Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “I remain cautiously optimistic we will be able to move forward on a bipartisan basis. However, Democrats reserve the right of all Senators to propose changes to Senate rules.”
Durbin said: “It’s in McConnell’s court. Harry Reid has passed along a suggestion, and we are waiting for a response.”
He maintained that he would prefer to avoid going down the path of changing the rules with a simple majority vote, although he expressed the view that precedent exists to do so. Even that is a point of some contention, with supporters of the idea consistently pointing to advisory opinions made by vice presidents, who serve as presidents of the Senate.
Republican aides say the Senate is a continuing body and therefore its rules continue and cannot be changed by a simple majority vote. However, Democrats contend that the Senate has not yet acquiesced to accepting the Senate’s rules from the last Congress.
There’s evidence to support the GOP position because there have been several references to standing rules in the Senate’s actions thus far in the 113th Congress, even as Reid has continued the first legislative day.
Nonetheless, despite GOP opposition, nothing would prevent Senate Democrats from moving forward if they have the 51 votes needed.
NielsLesniewski@cqrollcall.com | @nielslesniewski
HumbertoSanchez@cqrollcall.com | @hsanchez128
http://www.rollcall.com/news/senate_democrats_lack_votes_for_talking_filibuster _plan-221037-1.htmlNO AMNESTY
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01-23-2013, 05:32 PM #7working4changeGuest
01-23-2013, 08:10 PM #8
I saw an email somewhere sent out by Senator Rand Paul claiming that Reid would force a vote on changing this cloture rule sometime Thursday?
01-23-2013, 08:18 PM #9working4changeGuestThanks to your action, Harry Reid wasn't able to muster up the votes to gut the Senate filibuster yesterday - so he's delayed the vote until Thursday.
But there's no time to relax.
Unfortunately, there's another bad deal in the works, and it's being spearheaded by Republican House leaders.
I'm talking about the debt ceiling "deal" expected to come up for a vote TODAY in the U.S. House.
That's why it's vital you call your U.S. Representative at (202) 224-3121 IMMEDIATELY!
You see, Barack Obama recently drew a line in the sand, telling House Republicans there would be "no negotiations over increasing the debt ceiling."
But instead of standing up to Barack Obama, the House Republican leadership is caving and plans to vote on a debt ceiling increase later today.
And make no mistake, despite the GOP establishment's claims, this is a full-fledged surrender to Barack Obama and his big spending pals.
When I saw the House leadership on TV Monday handing Barack Obama a flag, I had a feeling it was the white flag of surrender.
And it turns out - I was correct.
In fact, the White House referred to the Republican House leadership's debt ceiling bill as "significant" and "certainly something we welcome."
I don't know about you, but I've had enough of Republicans caving in to pressure from Barack Obama and Harry Reid.
And I think it's time constitutional conservatives send a loud-and-clear message to the GOP leadership:
STOP RETREATING AND STAND UP FOR OUR CONSERVATIVE VALUES!
Can I count on you to call your U.S. Representatives and deliver that message? You can reach your U.S. Representative at (202) 224-3121.
You see, instead of trimming around the edges, it's time Republicans got serious about reigning in the out-of-control spending.
Our national debt is already over $16.4 TRILLION. What are they waiting on?
For it to reach $20 or $30 TRILLION before the GOP establishment gets serious about stopping the madness in Washington?
Of course, according to the Republican establishment, the debt ceiling bill is tough because it contains a stipulation that if the House and Senate don't improve an annual budget - members will have their salaries withheld.
Well, I didn't come for the "perks" of being a U.S. Senator.
And I sure as hell didn't come to Washington to help maintain the Big Government, big spending status quo.
I came to Washington to fight to restore the Founding principles of individual liberty, free markets, and constitutional government.
And I believe that starts by returning the GOP to its core principles.
But I can't do it without the help and support of conservatives like you.
So please call your U.S. Representative at (202) 224-3121 IMMEDIATELY.
Demand they stand up to the Washington establishment by voting against this dangerous bill.
And if you don't get an answer, leave a message, and keep calling.
Let them know you've had enough of the Big Government, big spending status quo in Washington.
Senator Rand Paul[/B]
01-24-2013, 03:48 PM #10
A Gridlocked Senate Agrees to Some Limits on Filibusters
By JEREMY W. PETERS
Published: January 24, 2013
WASHINGTON — Senate Democratic and Republican leaders agreed to new limits on the filibuster on Thursday, an effort to speed action in the often-clogged chamber by reducing how often senators could use a common tactic to slow the legislative process.
- Times Topic:Filibusters and Debate Curbs
According to lawmakers and aides who have reviewed the plan, which still needs to pass the full Senate, several procedural hurdles would be removed to allow bills to come to the floor for a vote in a more timely fashion.
First, in a concession from Republicans, the majority party — Democrats currently — would no longer have to marshal 60 votes in order for debate on a bill to proceed. But, in turn, Democrats would have to agree to allow Republicans two amendments to the bill.
The changes, while falling far short of what some reformers were pushing for, are intended to help ease tensions between the parties, whose disagreements in recent years have caused the Senate often to operate in a state of stagnation.
Republicans would frequently filibuster bills by blocking a procedural step known as a motion to proceed, thereby killing bills before they could ever be debated.
And Democrats would deny Republicans the opportunity to offer amendments, reducing their ability to shape legislation as it made its way through the Senate.
The changes will surely disappoint reformers who were pushing for more sweeping revisions to rein in the filibuster, once a rarely used legislative tool.
The new rules will not include, for instance, a requirement that senators be present on the Senate floor when they want to block a bill from coming to a vote, continuing the practice of allowing them to filibuster in absentia. And opponents would still have the opportunity to filibuster a final vote on any legislation, thwarting its passage without 60 votes.
Though Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, has threatened to use his majority to push through changes if Republicans do not compromise, veteran lawmakers in both parties historically have been reluctant to force drastic changes in Senate rules, fearing they could boomerang if they return to the minority.
As the final touches were being put on the rule changes, some senators expressed relief that they finally appeared headed toward a resolution on one of the main issues that helped make the last Congress, the 112th, unproductive and inefficient.
“I think this would be a real boost towards ending the gridlock which has bedeviled us,” said Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat.
“The unique thing about the Senate is we’re supposed to debate — frequently and at length. And we’re supposed to be deliberative,” he added. “It’s been allowed, I believe, to decline in that regard.”
Mr. Levin echoed a sentiment that has been increasingly common among members of both parties: because of arcane parliamentary rules exploited by both parties, senators are not able to do the work they were elected to carry out.
Democrats have long complained that Republican obstruction has kept even the most routine measures from being dealt with in a timely manner. In the 112th Congress, a motion for cloture — a procedure that begins a vote to end a filibuster — was filed 115 times. In the 111th Congress, it happened 137 times, more than double the number from when Democrats were in the minority during the early 2000s.
In turn, Republicans say they have been forced to block bills because of Mr. Reid’s refusal to allow amendments on bills once they reach the floor, and his insistence that bills often bypass the committee process, tactics that prevent them from having much of a meaningful role in shaping legislation.
“It’s important for us as Republicans to be able to offer amendments,” said Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican who worked on a bipartisan filibuster compromise along with Mr. Levin and Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York, Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, all Democrats, and the Republicans Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and John McCain of Arizona.
Mr. Barrasso added: “I hope we’re more functional. I want the body to function.”
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