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Obstruct/veto/fillibuster:Republicans grind Congress to halt

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 07:22 am
A subject worthy of its own thread.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 5,873 • Replies: 57
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 07:24 am
Walter posted this info graphic on the Republicans' 2008 thread:

Walter Hinteler wrote:
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 07:29 am
Cyclo posted the following information on the same thread.

Money quote:

"So far, in the first half of the first session of the 110th Congress, there have been THIRTEEN cloture votes on motions to proceed [..]. In comparison, in the first sessions of the 108th and 109th Congresses combined, there were a total of FOUR cloture votes on motions to proceed."

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Quote:
  • Senate Republicans have obstructed almost every bill in the Senate - even ones with wide bipartisan support.
  • So far, in the first half of the first session of the 110th Congress, there have been THIRTEEN cloture votes on motions to proceed - each one wasting days of Senate time. (110th Congress, Roll Call Votes #44, 51, 53, 74, 129, 132, 133, 162, 173, 207, 208, 227, and 228)
  • In comparison, in the first sessions of the 108th and 109th Congresses combined, there were a total of FOUR cloture votes on motions to proceed.
EIGHT times Republican obstruction tactics slowed critical legislation

* Fulfilling the 9/11 Commission Recommendations (Passed 97-0, Roll Call Vote #53)
* Improving security at our courts (Passed 93-3, Roll Call Vote #133)
* Water Resources Development Act (Passed 89-7, Roll Call Vote #162)
* A joint resolution to revise U.S. policy in Iraq (Passed 89-9, Roll Call Vote, #74)
* Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Passed 69-23, Roll Call Vote #173)
* Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Passed 64-35, Roll Call Vote #228)
* CLEAN Energy Act (Passed 91-0, Roll Call Vote #208)
* Funding for the Intelligence Community (Passed 94-3, Roll Call Vote #129)

FOUR times Republicans blocked legislation from being debated

* Senate Republicans blocked raising the minimum wage. (54-43, Roll Call Vote #23)
* Senate Republicans blocked ethics reforms (Rejected 51-46, Roll Call Vote #16)
* Senate Republicans blocked comprehensive immigration reform (Rejected 45-50, Roll Call Vote #206)
* Senate Republicans blocked funding for renewable energy (Rejected 57-36, Roll Call Vote #223)

FOUR times Republicans stopped bills from reaching a vote

* Senate Republicans blocked funding for the intelligence community. (Rejected 41-40, Roll Call Vote #130)
* Senate Republicans blocked raising the minimum wage. (54-43, Roll Call Vote #23)
* Senate Republicans blocked ethics reforms (Rejected 51-46, Roll Call Vote #16)
* Senate Republicans blocked funding for renewable energy (Rejected 57-36, Roll Call Vote #223)

TWICE Republicans blocked bills from going to conference

* Senate Republicans blocked appointing conferees on the 9/11 Commission Recommendations (6/26/07)
* Senate Republicans blocked appointing conferees on ethics reform (6/26/07)


To put it bluntly, the Republicans have fillibustered nearly every vote which has come forth. Much, much, much more then the Dems did in the last two congresses COMBINED.

Cycloptichorn
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 07:36 am
Money quote:

"President Bush, who didn't veto a bill for nearly six years, [..] has issued 39 veto threats since Democrats took over the House and Senate in January. [..]

Bush also has threatened to veto nine of the 12 appropriations bills that would fund the government for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
"

Quote:
Bush wields vetoes to block Democrats

President Bush, who didn't veto a bill for nearly six years, is now embracing the power to constrain the Democratic-controlled Congress even as his popularity remains low.

The strategy has blocked Congress from forcing troop drawdowns in Iraq and given Bush substantial leverage on children's health policies, federal spending and other issues.

But some say it carries a political risk. By thwarting congressional efforts to wind down the war and redirect spending to popular domestic programs, Bush could help Democrats portray Republicans as out of step with voters in the 2008 elections.

"The president's stubbornness is like an anchor around the Republican Party," said Rep. Al Wynn, D-Md.

The White House says Bush himself has issued 39 veto threats since Democrats took over the House and Senate in January. Top presidential aides have hinted at possible vetoes of several other bills.

Bush last week renewed his pledge to veto Congress' proposed expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, set to expire Sept. 30. House and Senate negotiators want to add $35 billion over five years to the program. That would insure about 4 million more children from modest-income households.

Bush says the plan is too costly and would cover families that can afford private insurance. But some congressional Republicans disagree, and see the veto threat as obstinance that could threaten their party.

"I'm very, very disappointed," said Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., who faces a tough re-election fight next year.

Democrats see such veto threats as a boon to their 2008 hopes.

Bush is trying to establish that he's a fiscal conservative after overseeing a sharp rise in the deficit, said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

"I think he has picked the wrong issues," Durbin said. "If he wants to fight over children's health insurance, I'm sorry but we're ready."

But Bush said lawmakers "are putting health coverage for poor children at risk so they can score political points in Washington." He and his aides have threatened vetoes on several other matters as well, including House representation for the District of Columbia and subsidized insurance against terrorist acts.

Bush also has threatened to veto nine of the 12 appropriations bills that would fund the government for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Overrides of presidential vetoes are seldom achieved. They require a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of Congress.

Bush first used his veto power last summer, blocking expanded federal research using embryonic stem cells. His May 1 veto of a spending bill that would have required troop withdrawals from Iraq established his ability to block any substantial Democratic effort to restructure the war. [..]
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 07:38 am
On 20 September, Cycloptichorn wrote:
The Republicans used the filibuster threat again today to block Boxer's amendment. That's 4 times in two days that they have used this. They filibuster every piece of legislation that comes to the floor which they don't like.

The Dems used the filibuster 4 times in two years. There's no doubt that the Republicans have taken the politics of obstruction to record heights.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 07:54 am
I think it shows what pussies the Democrats in congress really were and are.

They were afraid to push their agenda when they were the minority, and now whine because they can't push through their agenda.

Gridlock in congress is the best we can hope for from the entire bunch of idiots.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 08:12 am
nimh wrote:
On 20 September, Cycloptichorn wrote:
The Republicans used the filibuster threat again today to block Boxer's amendment. That's 4 times in two days that they have used this. They filibuster every piece of legislation that comes to the floor which they don't like.

The Dems used the filibuster 4 times in two years. There's no doubt that the Republicans have taken the politics of obstruction to record heights.


According to the graph you linked from Walter's post, cloture was invoked 101 times in the previous 2 years. Only 4 of those were by Democrats? I find that hard to believe.

It would be interesting to see the number fo actual Senate votes however. A number of cloture votes by itself doesn't mean much without a reference to the total number of votes cast.

For prior years:

2006: 207 Senate votes
2005: 366
2004: 216
2003: 459
2002: 253
2001: 380
2000: 298
1999: 374
1998: 314
1997: 298
1996: 306
1995: 613
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 08:26 am
McGentrix wrote:
I think it shows what pussies the Democrats in congress really were and are.

Says the guy who was whining about those obstructionist Democrats back when the Republicans were in the majority...
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 08:27 am
nimh wrote:
McGentrix wrote:
I think it shows what pussies the Democrats in congress really were and are.

Says the guy who was whining about those obstructionist Democrats back when the Republicans were in the majority...


Well, shoes on the other foot now, huh?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 08:31 am
fishin wrote:
According to the graph you linked from Walter's post, cloture was invoked 101 times in the previous 2 years. Only 4 of those were by Democrats? I find that hard to believe.

I dont know where Cyclo got the number 4 from exactly, so I'll leave the specifics to him, but the contradiction you see might not be one. Walter's graph representing votes of cloture (ie, threats of fillibusters) and Cyclo referred to actual fillibusters, and Thomas explained in the other thread that "not every cloture vote represents a filibuster. Only a cloture vote that fails to invoke cloture represents a filibuster."

fishin wrote:
It would be interesting to see the number fo actual Senate votes however. A number of cloture votes by itself doesn't mean much without a reference to the total number of votes cast.

Why not?
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 08:34 am
Interesting. I hope those running in the next election will use this to get more votes for democrats or more moderate independents/republicans.

They can keep hammering home that if people truly do want to stop the way the Bush administration and those who follow his policies have run this country (as the mid-term election indicated) then they are going to have vote that way ignoring all other considerations.

(The source for the graph walter left is the US Senate Historical office; so its probably accurate.)
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 08:35 am
McGentrix wrote:
Well, shoes on the other foot now, huh?

Well, at least you're honest about your hypocrisy. Anything to say about the fact that the Republicans have threatened to fillibuster much, much more than the Democrats did in the previous Congress though? After all, if you're saying that the Reps are just doing the same thing the Dems did before, you're apparently just plain wrong.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 09:19 am
nimh wrote:
fishin wrote:
According to the graph you linked from Walter's post, cloture was invoked 101 times in the previous 2 years. Only 4 of those were by Democrats? I find that hard to believe.

I dont know where Cyclo got the number 4 from exactly, so I'll leave the specifics to him, but the contradiction you see might not be one. Walter's graph representing votes of cloture (ie, threats of fillibusters) and Cyclo referred to actual fillibusters, and Thomas explained in the other thread that "not every cloture vote represents a filibuster. Only a cloture vote that fails to invoke cloture represents a filibuster."


*nods* But I find much of Cyclo's post to be hot air. "EIGHT times Republican obstruction tactics slowed critical legislation".

What does that mean? The Senate shouldn't debate critial legislation? Shoulod they only debate non-critial legislation? Or is there supposed to be no debate at all? Is wherever he copied that quote from trying to say that all critical legislation should just be rubber stamped?

I looked up two of the items listed under that:
"Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Passed 69-23, Roll Call Vote #173)" and Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Passed 64-35, Roll Call Vote #228)

While the cloture motion to debate was introduced by a Republican for vote 173, 39 of those 69 votes to pass the motion were from Democrats and 7 other Democrats failed to vote on the motion at all. Only 4 Democrats voted against cloture.Link

Similarly, for vote 228, 40 of the 64 votes for cloture came from Democrats. Link

So let me see if I have this right. A Republican introduces motion to invoke cloture to proceed to debate and, based on the votes of Democrats, the motion passes and this is evidence of Republican obstructionism. Is that the jist of the complaint? Question

Quote:
fishin wrote:
It would be interesting to see the number fo actual Senate votes however. A number of cloture votes by itself doesn't mean much without a reference to the total number of votes cast.

Why not?


Because if a bill isn't introduced on the floor to begin with there is no opportuinty for a motion for cloture, debate or filibuster. More votes is a base indicator of the number of bills presented (although it isn't a completely accurate indicator.)

50 motions to invoke cloture when there have been 1,000 bills introduced is a lot different than 50 motions when 60 bills have been introduced.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 09:36 am
Naturally, you are well aware that there haven't been 1000 bills introduced this cycle; yet the motions for cloture are already at the equivalent of entire previous cycles, per WH's chart. That alone should tell ya something.

Quote:

So let me see if I have this right. A Republican introduces motion to invoke cloture to proceed to debate and, based on the votes of Democrats, the motion passes and this is evidence of Republican obstructionism. Is that the jist of the complaint?


You picked out the one example where Republicans were working against each other - the immigration bill. But, essentially, you're right. By calling for a cloture vote instead of unanimously consenting to it, the Republicans are stalling and wasting time and engaging in Obstructionism.

It's funny - at least McG has the sac to admit what's going on. It's sad that others don't.

I will say that I think it would be a political winner for the Dems to make the Republicans actually filibuster, that is, to make them talk for the maximum amount they possibly can make them, every time they wish to use the cloture rule to keep an up-or-down vote from happening. It will lead to a gov't shutdown, but people will blame Bush and the Republicans for it - and they should, as it is them who are obstructing the passing of budgets.

I think the info presented by Nimh on the number of veto threats is salient as well; Bush is going to veto each and every spending bill the Dems pass, and then turn around and blame them for the shutdown which ensues? I don't think that will fly too far.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 09:44 am
nimh wrote:
McGentrix wrote:
Well, shoes on the other foot now, huh?

Well, at least you're honest about your hypocrisy. Anything to say about the fact that the Republicans have threatened to fillibuster much, much more than the Democrats did in the previous Congress though? After all, if you're saying that the Reps are just doing the same thing the Dems did before, you're apparently just plain wrong.


That the Dem's didn't have the stones to stand for their principles does not bother me.

The Republican's do and are flexing their minority muscle. I am not sure where the hypocrisy that you suggest comes from. I am supporting my party and have done so right along. I am not saying the Republicans are doing the same thing. They are doing what the Dem's were too weak to do.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 09:54 am
McGentrix wrote:
nimh wrote:
McGentrix wrote:
Well, shoes on the other foot now, huh?

Well, at least you're honest about your hypocrisy. Anything to say about the fact that the Republicans have threatened to fillibuster much, much more than the Democrats did in the previous Congress though? After all, if you're saying that the Reps are just doing the same thing the Dems did before, you're apparently just plain wrong.


That the Dem's didn't have the stones to stand for their principles does not bother me.

The Republican's do and are flexing their minority muscle. I am not sure where the hypocrisy that you suggest comes from. I am supporting my party and have done so right along. I am not saying the Republicans are doing the same thing. They are doing what the Dem's were too weak to do.


Lot easier, when you have a guaranteed veto to back you up.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 10:23 am
McGentrix wrote:
The Republican's do and are flexing their minority muscle. I am not sure where the hypocrisy that you suggest comes from. I am supporting my party and have done so right along. I am not saying the Republicans are doing the same thing. They are doing what the Dem's were too weak to do.

The hypocrisy comes from first ridiculing the Dems as obstructionist for the little fillibustering (and threatening to fillibuster) that they did, and now cheering the Reps on even as they do much more of it.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 10:48 am
nimh wrote:
McGentrix wrote:
The Republican's do and are flexing their minority muscle. I am not sure where the hypocrisy that you suggest comes from. I am supporting my party and have done so right along. I am not saying the Republicans are doing the same thing. They are doing what the Dem's were too weak to do.

The hypocrisy comes from first ridiculing the Dems as obstructionist for the little fillibustering (and threatening to fillibuster) that they did, and now cheering the Reps on even as they do much more of it.


How is that different from the Dem's cheering on the obstructionism before and complaining about it now?
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 10:50 am
I had to vote for a pox. The less any of them do, the better at this point.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 11:40 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Naturally, you are well aware that there haven't been 1000 bills introduced this cycle; yet the motions for cloture are already at the equivalent of entire previous cycles, per WH's chart. That alone should tell ya something.


Yes, I does tell me something. The question is "is it telling us everything?". I realize you prefer to run around with half a story as long as it supports your position but I'd prefer to have all the relevant info before jumping.

Cycloptichorn wrote:
You picked out the one example where Republicans were working against each other - the immigration bill.


I did? It seems to me that YOU are the one that provided the examples. I just happened to look into the examples you priovided. If you look at the 8 items you listed, the two that I picked happen to be the only two where the cloture vote wasn't unanimous or nearly unanimous. Anyone that looks at the rest of the items listed should be able to figure out that a 97-0 or 97-3 vote included a lot of Democratic Senator's votes. Was there really any reason to go through them?

Quote:
But, essentially, you're right. By calling for a cloture vote instead of unanimously consenting to it, the Republicans are stalling and wasting time and engaging in Obstructionism.


So if the Dems didn't want to waste time why didn't they vote againt the cloture motion to debate and make a motion to vote on the text of the bill at the time?

Quote:
It's funny - at least McG has the sac to admit what's going on. It's sad that others don't.


Glad to see that you are including yourself in that group of "others".
0 Replies
 
 

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