Tag Archives: Filibuster Rules

US Senate Should Abolish the 60 Vote Cloture/Filibuster Rules

Senate Filibuster and Cloture Vote Rules = Tyranny of the Minority!

The Senate’s use of a filibuster or the cloture vote to stop a filibuster, IS NOT IN THE US CONSTITUTION!  It is simply a Senate “rule” that was created by the Senate itself.  

Most US Citizens believe that a majority vote in the House or Senate should be the standard for passing legislation. 

They believe that

THE RULE OF THE MAJORITY

in a democracy should be the guiding principle. 

NOT A RULE BY THE MINORITY!

Did you know that the word “filibuster” comes from a Dutch word meaning PIRATE?

Why should a minority of Senators be able to thwart the “WILL OF THE PEOPLE”?  When the people elect a majority of Senators from one political party or ideology, the people expect that the elected majority in the Senate should prevail over the minority.  IF you believe that the minority’s rights are greater than the majority’s rights then should the passing of any legislation by the Senate be approved by 100%, 99%, 90%, 75%, 66% of the senators?  In essence, the current Senate Rule 22 requiring 60 votes to close debate puts control of the Senate in the minority, not the elected majority on regular legislation.

Historical Perspective:

The Senate rule allowing for a filibuster was first adopted by the Senate in 1806 but first used later in 1837.   In 1917, the Senate adopted a rule, (Rule 22), that provided that a filibuster could be stopped by a vote of 2/3rds of the Senate.  The 2/3rds vote requirement remained until 1975. 

During this period, the Southern Democrat Senators used the high 2/3rds vote threshold to block the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including anti-lynching legislation,  until cloture was finally invoked after a 60 day filibuster. 

In 1975, the Senate modified its cloture rule allowing for a vote of 3/5ths (60 votes) to stop a filibuster.   In 2013 the Senate changed the cloture vote to a simple majority for non SCOTUS judicial appointments. Then, in 2017, the rules were changed for even SCOTUS appointments.

Voting in the Senate should be the same as in the House of Representatives where the simple majority vote carries the issue.

Hiding Behind Senate Rules:

The other obscenity that is created with the phony 60 vote majority to end debate and pass the legislation is when the party who controls lets say 52 votes puts a bill on the floor knowing full well that the minority will block cloture and force the bill to die without a vote.  Then those in the majority strut about saying well we tried by XYZ minority blocked us. 

In more concrete terms, Obamacare repeal votes took place countless times when the Republicans knew full well that the legislation would be blocked by the Senate or Obama.  House Speaker Paul Ryan also hides behind Senate Rules when he re-crafted the Obamacare Repeal and Replace blaming Senate Rules as the reason he had to water down and stage the replacement. 

Democrat Vs Republican:

Republicans wring their hands when us regular folks tell them to do away with the 60 vote cloture rule and vote up or down on everything based solely on a simple majority.  Leadership says that when Democrats are in power they will use this power against Republican and ram legislation through.  

Obama taught us that these insane legislative rules with their false majorities are inconsequential and should be predicated on a simple majority vote.  When Obama lost the majority in the House and Senate, he merely ignored the legislative and judicial branches and ruled by fiat.   If the Republicans did pass a bill, they knew Obama would veto it! 

So, it did not matter what the Republican majority was in the Senate or the House.  Both parties use these rules to hide behind.  The use of these faux votes to prove to their constituencies that they are fighting for them is ludicrous.  We are not THAT dumb!

McConnell:

Do Away with Senate Rule 22 Requiring 60 Votes to Close a Debate;

Man-up; and Vote and Be Accountable!

We The People are Not Fooled!

RD Pierini

@RDPierini