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Subject: Stimulus rss

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Jess i TRON
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Why do the Democrats not force the Republicans to actually filibuster, if they really want to filibuster?

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True Blue Jon
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It's all for show.
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John So-And-So
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As I clicked on this thread, I bet myself whether it was about R, S, or P.
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Jim C
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jessitron wrote:
Why do the Democrats not force the Republicans to actually filibuster, if they really want to filibuster?



The longer this gets stalled, the more public support wanes. The Dems want to force a vote as soon as possible to avoid more erosion of public support.

The Dems are trying to nail down a couple of Repub senators to vote their way so they can call it "bipartisan." Those two look to be Arlen Specter and Olympia Snowe. They had four at one point, but Voinovich and Collins look to be dropping their support for porkulus
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Jorge Montero
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jessitron wrote:
Why do the Democrats not force the Republicans to actually filibuster, if they really want to filibuster?



Because they are all a bunch of pansies that don't stand for anything?

Democratic Leadership is an oxymoron

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David desJardins
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jessitron wrote:
Why do the Democrats not force the Republicans to actually filibuster, if they really want to filibuster?


Because it's not about "the Republicans" as a whole, it's about the 2 or 3 moderate Republicans whose votes they need if they want to pass the bill, as well as a handful of conservative Democrats who could possibly defect. Forcing a premature vote that you can't win while those swing Senators say they want more time to work out a compromise is ok if your goal is political theater, but bad if you actually want a bill passed.
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Jess i TRON
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But they don't need 60 votes to pass the bill. They need 60 votes to shut down a filibuster.

Yet, they don't even make the Republicans filibuster. If the Senate leadership were trying to bring the bill for a vote but some Republican had to stand up there and talk for hours and hours to prevent it, wouldn't it make the Republicans look like they're obstructing the process?

Is there some reason why forcing them to really filibuster would be disadvantageous? or are they just lazy?
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David desJardins
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jessitron wrote:
But they don't need 60 votes to pass the bill. They need 60 votes to shut down a filibuster.


Those are the same thing. The Senate process is called "cloture". Basically you need 60 votes to end debate and call for a vote. If you don't have cloture, then the opponents of the bill can extend the debate forever.

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Yet, they don't even make the Republicans filibuster. If the Senate leadership were trying to bring the bill for a vote but some Republican had to stand up there and talk for hours and hours to prevent it, wouldn't it make the Republicans look like they're obstructing the process?


Sure. And this might be good for show if your goal is to win the next election. But it doesn't help pass the bill, which is the goal here. If anything, it offends the people whose votes you're trying to get.
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Ken
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Because if the first major piece of legislation your administration puts up gets stalled by an actual filibuster and you can't break it, you look like an idiot and you take a public opinion and political hit. So the President isn't particularly interested in starting with a strike out.
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Society of Watchers
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Actually, the Republicans can make it 60 vote because of the provisions regarding overspending in a spending bill. Don't know actual details of that legislation, but makes it so it doesn't actually require a filibuster to stop a spending bill.
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David desJardins
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P.S. There is no shortage of Republicans who are very proud that they are obstructing the process. If you think that's somehow going to shame them into changing their position, that's really not true.

The swing votes (the Senators who might actually support some version of the bill, as opposed to the obstructionists above) probably don't want to stand on the floor and extend debate. But (1) they don't have to do that, because there are others glad to extend debate, all they have to do is not vote for cloture and the debate will continue; and (2) if you could somehow force them to extend debate for hours they will just get pissed off and less likely to support any compromise you come up with.
 
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David desJardins
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mileser wrote:
Actually, the Republicans can make it 60 vote because of the provisions regarding overspending in a spending bill. Don't know actual details of that legislation, but makes it so it doesn't actually require a filibuster to stop a spending bill.


This doesn't match any Senate rules I know of. The only legislation that isn't subject to filibuster and cloture is budget reconciliation, which is subject to lots of other constraints about what is in order in such a bill, and that's not what we're considering here.
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Jorge Montero
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The obvious solution is to beg the media to paint the republicans as traitors to the country, willing to risk the country going to hell for their own political gain.

Hey, it worked for the Republicans.
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Society of Watchers
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DaviddesJ wrote:
mileser wrote:
Actually, the Republicans can make it 60 vote because of the provisions regarding overspending in a spending bill. Don't know actual details of that legislation, but makes it so it doesn't actually require a filibuster to stop a spending bill.


This doesn't match any Senate rules I know of. The only legislation that isn't subject to filibuster and cloture is budget reconciliation, which is subject to lots of other constraints about what is in order in such a bill, and that's not what we're considering here.


I'm not sure but I think it is the following rule, not legislation that defines this constraint Senate Rule XLIV It's hard to follow, but I read an article where the Republicans could use it to block the Stimulus plan unless the Democrats get 60 votes. So, there's more than just a filibuster as a possibility.
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William Boykin
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I guess the thought that maybe the GOP feels that squandering another Trillion dollars is a bad idea never crossed your minds?

I mean, the LAST Trillion dollars we spent, the GAO has announced that the legislation was so sloppy, we'll never know if the money was useful in helping the economy or not.

Oh, yah, sorry,forgot. The GOP is responsible for all the ills in the world. I keep forgetting and getting OFF MESSAGE.

Time for more happy pills!!!!!

Darilian
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Ken
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DaviddesJ wrote:
This doesn't match any Senate rules I know of. The only legislation that isn't subject to filibuster and cloture is budget reconciliation, which is subject to lots of other constraints about what is in order in such a bill, and that's not what we're considering here.


The Senate did have "Pay as You Go" rules for spending that increases the deficit, which were adopted in 1993 and continued since. I think they were set to expire last year, and don't know if they've been extended.

https://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/1743
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Ken
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mileser wrote:
...but I read an article where the Republicans could use it to block the Stimulus plan unless the Democrats get 60 votes. So, there's more than just a filibuster as a possibility.


Since both are 60 votes, it's not like it's a significant additional hurdle.
 
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William Boykin
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This current package has been declared 'Pay as you Go'.

Darilian
 
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perfalbion wrote:
mileser wrote:
...but I read an article where the Republicans could use it to block the Stimulus plan unless the Democrats get 60 votes. So, there's more than just a filibuster as a possibility.


Since both are 60 votes, it's not like it's a significant additional hurdle.


Yeah, but enough to make some talking room to eliminate some of the pork from the bill to entice a few Republicans over and prevent a few moderate Democrats from voting against. And easier for Republicans because filibusters can be awfully hard.
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Ken
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mileser wrote:
Yeah, but enough to make some talking room to eliminate some of the pork from the bill to entice a few Republicans over and prevent a few moderate Democrats from voting against. And easier for Republicans because filibusters can be awfully hard.


An actual filibuster just about never happens though (a la "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"). There's a motion for cloture and if it doesn't pass, the bill's pretty much declared dead. There were 52 "filibusters" in 2006, for example, but none of them were the literal meaning of the term - a Senator or Senators droning on without end. They were simple cloture votes.

I can't even think of the last time the Senate required someone to literally live up to a stereotypical filibuster.
 
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David desJardins
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perfalbion wrote:
I can't even think of the last time the Senate required someone to literally live up to a stereotypical filibuster.


The rules were changed long, long ago to mean they don't have to do that.

The leader of the Senate can keep it in session (with the support of the majority), and the Senators wishing to obstruct business have to stick around. But they don't have to keep talking and talking.
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Ken
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DaviddesJ wrote:
perfalbion wrote:
I can't even think of the last time the Senate required someone to literally live up to a stereotypical filibuster.


The rules were changed long, long ago to mean they don't have to do that.

The leader of the Senate can keep it in session (with the support of the majority), and the Senators wishing to obstruct business have to stick around. But they don't have to keep talking and talking.


I don't disagree with how the rules work, but I'm not sure about "long, long ago." I know there was a "real" filibuster of the Civil Rights act in 1964, for example and 45 years isn't all that long ago.
 
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Flying Arrow
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I think the 'debate' is pretty much Obama looking for political cover in case this bill doesn't work. He wants bipartisan support because if it doesn't work they don't want the blame to fall squarely on the Democrats' shoulders. Sort of like Bush and the Iraq war approval - pretty much everyone (save a very few Democrats) agreed with the intelligence at the time and approved the war. That "political cover" for Bush didn't really work anyway. I think it'd the same here even if large numbers of Republicans did support it - this is Obama's bill and if it doesn't work he'll get the blame for it.
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David desJardins
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FlyingArrow wrote:
I think it'd the same here even if large numbers of Republicans did support it - this is Obama's bill and if it doesn't work he'll get the blame for it.


So your theory is based on the assumption that he's a dimwit who doesn't understand the obvious? It seems more logical to me to attribute more sensible motivations. He wants bipartisan support because he's going to need bipartisan support for other parts of his agenda and he doesn't want to start alienating the swing members of Congress.
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Ken
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Koldfoot wrote:
Because, if you make it a real filibuster, 2 or 3 senators could tie it up forever, instead of 60 40.


That's not true. Cloture motions can be introduced interrupting current debate if you can get 60 signatures on a petition for cloture.

The "old" way went away because while it was charming and sorta nice to make a Senator work to filibuster a bill, it also was fairly quaint and silly. And for some senators, the effort to filibuster might kill them. Since it's the votes for cloture that ultimately matter, the standing up and speaking 'til you drop went by the wayside.
 
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