Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    South West Florida (Behind friendly lines but still in Occupied Territory)

    Harry Reid’s Filibuster Coup Attempt

    Harry Reid’s Filibuster Coup Attempt

    by Senator John Barrasso on December 14, 2012

    Americans know that Washington is too partisan and gridlocked. And so, naturally, Senate Democrats are planning a power grab that will forever change the chamber and make it harder for members to strike agreements.

    The rules of the Senate currently ensure a balanced approach to debating important matters. Among them is the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to end debate on a motion and move to a vote. The filibuster’s purpose is to force competing groups of senators to find compromise solutions rather than ram through items driven by the extremes of either party.

    Yet Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to undo this system by eliminating the 60-vote threshold.

    Under the current rules, the Senate’s minority party has limited opportunities to influence legislation. It can do so in three main ways: by offering amendments in committee, by offering amendments on the Senate floor, and by negotiating with the majority party before the so-called cloture vote to end debate.

    Sen. Reid has already gutted two of these three opportunities, which is a major reason for today’s stalemate.

    He has made unprecedented use of Senate Rule 14, for example, whichallows the majority leader to bypass committees and write bills behind closed doors. Sen. Reid has used this rule to skip committees nearly 70 times, bringing bills straight to the floor—with zero input from members of the minority.

    His other favorite maneuver, called “filling the tree,” involves filling all the slots for amendments on the Senate floor so that no other senator (of either party) can offer one. He has done this 69 times since becoming majority leader in 2007. That is more than twice as often as the last four majority leaders combined.

    One of the minority’s few remaining options to improve legislation and represent their constituents is to try to get agreement on amendments before the cloture vote to bring the bill to the Senate floor. Because cloture requires 60 votes, a minority party with at least 40 seats can typically offer amendments this way. But if the 60-vote threshold is removed and this opportunity becomes unavailable, bills would move to a final vote without the minority ever having a chance to offer amendments. The minority—Republican or Democratic—would be dependent on the goodwill of the majority leader for any meaningful participation. And in Washington these days goodwill is in short supply.

    Then there is the matter of whether Mr. Reid and his fellow Democrats are acting within their rights. In their push to jettison the 60-vote threshold, they are peddling the false notion that they can change Senate rules with a simple majority as long as they do so at the beginning of a new Congress. In fact, a change to the rules always requires 67 votes. Otherwise, any group of 51 senators could change the rules whenever they liked. The Senate has never worked that way.

    When they served in the Senate, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden fought against the very steps Sen. Reid is trying to take today. In 2005, then-Sen. Obama said: “If the majority chooses to end the filibuster—if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate—then the fighting and bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse.” Then-Sen. Biden agreed, saying: “At its core, the filibuster is not about stopping a nominee or a bill, it is about compromise and moderation.”

    If Senate Democrats succeed with their new plan, they will destroy any hope of achieving a balanced solution to the challenges we face. With less opportunity for minority participation, bills that come out of the Senate would be less nuanced and more biased toward one end of the spectrum. Today it is the liberal side; in the future, it may be the conservative side.

    With a divided Congress, any viable solution to the challenges we face must be the product of thorough debate in the Senate. The current Republican-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate won’t pass each others’ bills unless there is significant bipartisan support.

    Since its inception, the American political system has functioned on majority rule but with strong minority rights. Democracy isn’t winner-take-all. If Sen. Reid breaks the rules to change the rules, political minorities—and all Americans—will lose.

    Tagged as: filibuster, filibuster reform, Sen. John Barrasso

    About Senator John Barrasso

    John Barrasso is a Republican Senator serving the state of Wyoming. Contact Sen. Barrasso here.

    View all posts by Senator John Barrasso →

    Harry Reid’s Filibuster Coup Attempt
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Harry Reid Has Backtracked on a Bold Promise From Earlier This Year #tcot

    Harry Reid Has Backtracked on a Bold Promise From Earlier This Year - Tea Party News
    (The Blaze) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is the boy who cried wolf of the Senate. On Thursday, Reid gave the Senate a nice, easy three-day weekend, even though he threatened in late July to keep the Senate working around the clock and through the weekends in September. Reid is known for routinely ...

    Harry Reid Has Backtracked on a Bold Promise From Earlier This Year

    (The Blaze) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is the boy who cried wolf of the Senate.

    On Thursday, Reid gave the Senate a nice, easy three-day weekend, even though he threatened in late July to keep the Senate working around the clock and through the weekends in September.

    Reid is known for routinely threatening work on the weekend — and threatening work on Friday, a day the Senate almost never works — but almost no one takes these threats seriously. This time, however, Reid’s warning was very specific.

    “We have a lot of work to do,” Reid warned senators July 31, just before the Senate left for a five-week break. “So everyone needs to know that when we come back on September 8, there will be no weekends off.”

    “There are only two weeks until we go home, and everyone should not plan things on these weekends. So no one can say: You need to give us notice,” he warned again. “You have been given notice.”

    Reid said Democratic chairmen of various Senate committees agreed with him that the Senate needs to work both the weekend of September 13-14, and September 20-21.

    “So again, Saturday, September 13; Sunday, September 14; Saturday, September 20; Sunday, September 21, we need to be here, including the Fridays that precede those dates that I gave,” Reid warned. “Every day between September 8 and September 30 is fair game. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, we need to be here.”

    But by Thursday afternoon, all those threats had evaporated, and Reid adjourned the Senate until Monday afternoon, basically giving senators a three-and-a-half day weekend.

    “I ask unanimous consent that when the Senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 2 p.m. on Monday, September 15, 2014,” Reid said Thursday at around 4 p.m. Then most of the senators flew home.

    In July, Reid listed things like government funding, extending the Internet Tax Freedom Act, the minimum wage, and student debt as reasons why the Senate would be working so hard.

    But this week, the Senate did little to indicate there was any emergency. The Senate spent most of its time debating a Democratic proposal to amend the Constitution so Congress can regulate political speech. The idea was doomed from the start due to GOP opposition, and after several days of debate, Republicans killed the controversial idea.
    - See more at:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Column: Harry Reid’s plan to hand America to liberal billionaires


    BY: Matthew Continetti
    September 12, 2014 5:00 am

    “The constitutional amendment before us,” Harry Reid said Tuesday, describing a proposal to give federal and state governments the authority to regulate political giving, “isn’t about limiting free speech.”

    Harry Reid, may I present the American Civil Liberties Union. I am sure you two have met before.

    Writing in June that the nonprofit “strongly opposes” the so-called Udall amendment, the ACLU’s Laura Murphy and Gabriel Rottman called the Democratic proposal “deceptively complex,” “unnecessary,” “redundant of existing law,” “dangerous for liberties,” “vague,” “overbroad,” “exceedingly dangerous to democratic processes,” and “the first time the amendatory process has been used to directly limit specifically enumerated rights and freedoms.” Reid’s baby, the ACLU said, would “‘break’ the Constitution” by “amending the First Amendment.”

    Two levels of government would be permitted “to criminalize and censor all issue advocacy that mentions or refers to a candidate under the argument that it supports or opposes that candidate.” Recall that Citizens United, which the Udall amendment is supposed to address, was not about Tea Party Astroturf. It was about the FEC’s attempt to censor a film critical of her royal highness.

    The mandarins at the FEC and IRS, as well as their counterparts at the state level, would be responsible for distinguishing political communications that “support or oppose” a candidate from those that do not. They would penalize the individuals and groups they subjectively deem violators of administrative diktat. If this is not about “limiting free speech,” what is?

    I am not speaking abstractly. Want an image of a post-Udall world? Think Lois Lerner on Spring Break—after a bottle of tequila.

    “My Democratic colleagues and I,” Reid says, “are trying to address the special interest money that threatens to create a government of elected officials who are beholden to a few wealthy individuals.” But we can dismiss this rationalization outright. It is an example of what the Freudians call projection: the denial of immoral urges by transferring them to another. Projection is a disorder.

    Special interest money and super-wealthy individuals are two of the most prominent features of today’s bourgeois liberalism. The unions, the foundations, the colleges, the liberal-leaning or rent-seeking corporations, the residents of Manhattan and Silicon Valley and Beverly Hills and Ward 3, Warren Buffett, George Soros, Tom Steyer, Marc Lasry, Steve Mostyn, Michael Bloomberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chris Hughes—these groups, these men, they are not misshapen appendages of the Democratic Party. They are its innards. Its guts.

    Indeed, one of the reasons that Reid scheduled a vote on a measure that was sure to be defeated was, in the first place, to curry favor with, and solicit checks from, rich donors to progressive causes who have a sentimental and moralistic aversion to money in politics. It is part of Reid’s plan to smear Republican candidates as instruments of the wealthy brothers Charles and David Koch, and thereby prevent a GOP takeover of the Senate.

    From a financial standpoint, Reid’s strategy is working. His Senate Majority PAC, which does not disclose its donors, has run more advertisements than the Koch-affiliated Americans for Prosperity, and has spent almost as much money. The fundraising of Democratic Senate candidates is competitive with that of their Republican counterparts. The top three individual contributors to federal elections this cycle are Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg and Fred Eychaner. They are not Republicans. The day that Reid opened debate over the Udall amendment, the DCCC issued a fundraising appeal tied to the vote. Ironic.

    The scale of the progressive infrastructure is staggering. It is coordinated and funded by the Democracy Alliance, a secretive group of millionaires and billionaires that plots strategy and giving at meetings in fancy resorts. Documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon reveal that there are at least 172 groups inside the Democracy Alliance network. “113 of them have attacked us,” Koch Industries general counsel Mark Holden said recently, noting that far fewer groups—31—make up Koch world. The Kochs may spend up to $290 million in the 2014 election. Sounds like a lot. But Holden says the progressives may spend “somewhere in the ballpark” of $2.2 billion.

    These numbers make clear that the goal of Reid and Udall is not to expunge money from politics. Their goal is to expunge conservative money from politics—money that could be used against incumbents, money that could be used against them, money that could be used to organize and promote alternatives to the Hegelian god-state coming into being before our eyes. Their goal is no less than a silent coup, a renegotiation of the American social contract and the structure of the constitutional order, performed outside the public’s notice and without the public’s direct consent.

    The Udall amendment subverts freedom in two ways. First, by exempting media from regulation, the government would determine who or what “the media” are. Certified institutions would become the few remaining outlets for free expression. Perhaps you have noticed that the press tends to favor a certain ideological standpoint. In a post-Udall world, the influence of press barons such as Buffett and Bloomberg and Mexican oligarch Carlos Slim would increase. Reinstating the Fairness Doctrine would silence conservatives further.

    There is only one Rupert Murdoch. If someone of like mind as the Koch brothers tried to build a press operation of their own, we know what would happen. The liberal media would revolt.

    Second, by endowing governments with the power to ban anonymous political giving, the Udall amendment would usher in an era of witch-hunts and public shaming, with the media using their new powers to condemn and malign and stigmatize and penalize the advocates of unfashionable causes.
    We have already seen that a years-old, small donation to a judicially overturned plebiscite can cost a man his job. But the fight over disclosure is about more than the same-sex marriage debate. “During the civil rights era,” the ACLU notes in its letter, “southern states often tried to use laws forcing groups exercising First Amendment rights to disclose their membership, in a bid to run them out of town.”

    In a post-Udall world, legislative bodies would be arenas where members of one party criminalize the speech of the other. Religious liberty groups would be exiled from, say, New York; gun control groups from Texas. Says the ACLU: “Congress would, for instance, be free to pass laws targeting only ‘political’ speech by groups like ACORN.” Or like Americans for Prosperity.

    Media power and disclosure work together to undermine the adversaries of the caste, the twenty-first century oligarchy of tech entrepreneurs and media executives, lawyers and administrators, professors and foundation officers, journalists and actors, studio executives and museum officials, heirs and heiresses and progressive and politically connected bankers and investors. This is the plutocracy that dominates the presidency and the Senate and the bureaucracy and the academy and philanthropy and print and electronic media, that determines the contours of elite opinion, that decides what is “reality-based” and “empirical,” what is “faith-based” and “ideological.” This is the educated class that writes our laws and newspapers and screenplays and late-night comedy routines, that fashions itself the guardian of equality and progress and diversity and all that is true and good even as it profits off the regulations it imposes, the industries it subsidizes, the cheap labor it imports, the racial and sexual controversies it sensationalizes.

    What we saw in Harry Reid’s Senate this week, when the Udall amendment failed a cloture vote, when 54 Democrats voted to refashion the First Amendment to serve the interests of incumbency and power, was not a noble cause. It was not good government. It was not an example of altruistic intentions stifled by Wall Street.

    What we saw in Harry Reid’s Senate this week was an attempt by the ascendant part of the elite, the part that makes its living from abstraction, to vanquish the declining part, the part that makes its living from extraction. And this sorry excuse for a legislative week did more than reveal, in real time, the structure and nature of class struggle in America today. It also occasioned a sentence I never thought I would write. If only Harry Reid listened to the ACLU.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts