Senate Republicans launch “Stop the Nuclear Option” to prevent Reid’s filibuster reform power trip

Senate Republicans are not going to let Harry Reid’s filibuster reform power trip go down without a fight.

This week the Senate Republican Caucus launched a new website, “Stop the Nuclear Option,” to provide Americans with more information about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) plan to change the body’s rules to prevent filibusters on the Senate floor in the next Congress.

“[Changing the rules] would weaken and possibly eliminate the minority party’s ability to debate in the United States Senate,” Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told bloggers on conference call this afternoon. “It would silence the voices of nearly half of all Americans, who are currently represented by Republicans.”

Johnson himself wants to “preserve full rights to the filibuster” and said he believes that the rule change would “harm the institution.”

According to the United States Senate website, a filibuster is an “informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions.” Under the current rules three-fifths of the present voting body, or 60 members when the full chamber is in session, is required to prevent Senators from launching a filibuster on the Senate floor.

Reid’s proposal would lower the vote count needed for cloture, the policy used to end a filibuster, to a simple majority, or 51 votes. More commonly referred to as the “nuclear option,” Reid’s rule change would allow the majority party in the chamber to effectively control all debate on legislation that reaches the Senate floor.

“In the Senate there are basically almost no rules, but one of the rules has always been that every Senator has the opportunity to amend every bill,” Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said at the Heritage Foundation’s weekly bloggers briefing Monday afternoon. “If you let that happen…eventually every Senator’s idea gets debated during the course of the given year on the floor and people vote yes or no and then they have to defend that yes or no vote.”

Blunt also pointed out that there have never been more than 56 “popularly elected” Republicans serving simultaneously in modern history, while Democrats have at times had as many as 70 Senators serving in the same session. Therefore Democrats have less incentive to keep the filibuster around.

Senate Republicans are also accusing Reid of flip-flopping on the issue. While serving as Minority Leader in 2006, Reid spoke on the Senate floor condemning the same rule change he is pursuing now.

“The threat to change Senate rules is a raw abuse of power and will destroy the very checks and balances our founding fathers put in place to prevent absolute power by any one branch of government,” Reid said in 2005.

Senate Democrats aren’t the only ones currently fighting for the end to the filibuster. Four House Democrats, along with the liberal organization Common Cause, are suing in federal court to permanently eliminate the filibuster.

Unfortunately, with Democrats gaining two seats in the next Senate, the rule change appears to be not only imminent, the floodgates will be opened and most liberal legislation in the Senate will be easily passed.

Comments

Polititainment

Madeleine Albright T(witter)KOs Conan

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright bested Conan O'Brien by Twitter knockout Thursday night, ribbing the comedian with a comeback worthy of a seasoned pro.

Kimmel: Stoner idea or gov. expenditure?
Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R – Okla.) fifth annual “Wastebook” was released Wednesday and some of the federally funded projects are so outrageous that they can be hard to believe. Late night host Jimmy Kimmel had the same thought and offered his audience a quiz. He read the name of a project, some real and some […]
Obama channels Chris Rock again

At rallies for Democrats in Maryland and Illinois on Sunday, Obama dropped the name "Cousin Pookie" -- a character that he used frequently to energize black voters during his 2008 campaign -- during his speeches.

Oliver beats Supreme Court's camera ban
Comedian John Oliver is sick of the Supreme Court ban on cameras in the court room and the ridiculous ways it makes television news stations have to cover those cases. But all hope is not lost. “What happens at the Supreme Court is way too important not to pay attention to and yet the ban […]
Stewart and Colbert go after 'Fangate'

Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a field day with “Fangate” Thursday night.

White House

Obama is withholding over 15,000 Fast and Furious documents

President Obama claimed executive privilege to withhold over 15,000 documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, including nearly 20 emails sent between Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife.

White House fence jumper charged with assault
WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats, the Secret Service said Thursday. Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for previous outstanding warrants, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. […]
President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Obama delivers devastating blow to red state Democrats, calls them ‘all folks who vote with me’
President Obama can’t seem to stay out of the 2014 midterm elections, no matter how much his fellow Democrats want him to. Obama spoke on Al Sharpton’s radio show Monday, which was later replayed on MSNBC, insisting that red state Democrats are still his “strong allies.” “A lot of the states that are contested this time […]

Congress

Rand Paul: ‘The war on terror is not over’

Rand Paul attempted to lay out his recently evolving foreign policy vision at his speech Thursday night at the Center for the National Interest.

McCarthy speaks out against 'Truthy' study
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is joining the growing dissent against the federally-funded “Truthy” study designed to monitor political speech on social media. In a blog post Thursday, titled “#KillingFreeSpeech,” McCarthy promises that the House Committee on Science will be conducting oversight “in the coming months on this and other questionable government-funded research projects.” “Why does the government […]
CIA agents impersonated Senate staffers to snoop
Despite a number of growing foreign and domestic threats over the summer, the CIA admitted that they had been using their resources to spy on elected officials in the Senate. Now, insiders are alleging that it’s not just what they did that is the problem, but how they went about it. A new piece by the […]
Republicans say they will reform the IRS

Republicans are talking about reforming the IRS if they gain the majority in the Senate next month, but seem to be treading with caution on making any specific promises.

'Wastebook' finds $25B in 'unnecessary' spending
Monkey gambling, synchronized swimming sea monkeys, and mountain lions on treadmills, oh my! Sen. Tom Coburn (R – Okla.) released his fifth and final “Wastebook” Wednesday, chronicling $25 billion tax dollars spent on 100  “silly, unnecessary, and low priority projects” this year. His findings are absolutely astonishing. Coburn, who is retiring this year, is not letting his fellow […]