A vote for cloture is a vote to cut off debate, right. So it is invoked to stop the other side from fillibustering.
According to the Senate rules - cloture is invoked to end debate by limiting the time to 30 hours.
parados wrote:According to the Senate rules - cloture is invoked to end debate by limiting the time to 30 hours.
Let me just make a quick distinction here - there is a difference between making a motion for cloture and actually invoking it. Invoking cloture requires a roll call vote with 60 or more Senators voiting "Yay". If they don't get the 60 votes then cloture is not invoked (i.e. the motion fails) and debate can continue on indefinitely.
This is why I have questioned the chart from Walter's post. They list 46 cloture votes with the words "invoked to stop debate" but there had only been 20 motions actually invoked as of the July 18 cutoff date they used. The remaining motions either failed or were withdrawn.
But, the failed motion - the inability to stop debate - is essentially the same thing as killing the bill, unless the Dems wish to shut the gov't down.
You're just plain being disingenuous. For example, when you say 'oh, well, cloture would have passed if two more dems had voted for it, so, really, it's your fault'; that's ridiculous. Nearly all those bills would have passed if Republicans hadn't insisted on motioning for cloture, as they had simple majorities.
I think you are full of it when it comes to analysis.
I don't think you understand what is being discussed here; with every post, it seems like you get further away from the way the Senate actually works.
Then you claim "Nearly all those bills would have passed if Republicans hadn't insisted on motioning for cloture, as they had simple majorities." which is also false. The Republicans didn't insist on anything. The choice was made by the Democrats.
nimh wrote:A vote for cloture is a vote to cut off debate, right. So it is invoked to stop the other side from fillibustering. Since it is mostly the minority party that is likely to fillibuster, it seems only logical that it would be the majority party leader to propose a cloture vote to stop them from it..
No. Cloture can be to either open or close debate. A cloture motion to proceed is used to open debate. You didn't read the paragraph above the one you quoted here.
nimh wrote:A vote for cloture is a vote to cut off debate, right. So it is invoked to stop the other side from fillibustering.
Or to cut short genuinely needed debate. There is a difference between the two, but the metric in your initial post ignores it.
What I dont get, therefore, is what is supposed to be "really interesting" about the fact that Reid proposed most of the cloture votes?
That's merely logical, isnt it? Since most of these votes are meant to cut off debate, motivated by a justified or unjustified desire to ward off a perceived danger of fillibustering, isnt it merely self-evident that it would be the majority party moving for it?
After all, most any fillibustering will be done by the minority party; so it will be the majority party trying to clamp down on the chances for it.
But you wrote it twice - and it seemed, to me at least, like you were suggesting that Reid having proposed most of those cloture votes contradicted the "Republican fillibustering" claim implied by the graph. So what was it that you thought was "really interesting" about it? What would the contradiction be?
GOP Gets Its Way on the AMT
TNR The Plank
December 07, 2007
It wasn't a proud day for Senate Democrats yesterday, who finally broke down and abandoned their commitment to pay-go budgeting rules by passing a one-year freeze on the Alternative Minimum Tax without any accompanying tax increase or spending cut to make up the lost revenue. (Although it was a proud day for the great state of North Dakota, whose senators Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad provided two of the five votes--all Democratic--in favor of fiscal responsibility.) The House looks like it will soon follow suit, although it at least deserves credit for previously passing an AMT patch with an offset.
No doubt the calculus for Senate Democrats went something like this: it was never going to be possible to get 60 votes for any new source of revenue to offset the AMT, and there could have been big political fallout for Democrats if no AMT patch were passed, so the best course of action was to bite the bullet and get this off the table for a year until after the election, at which time there might be either (a) a bigger Democratic working majority in the Senate, or (b) some bipartisan interest in more fundamental tax reform, of which a permanent AMT fix would be a part. [..]
THE GREAT AMT DEBATE
The Washington Monthly
[..] The backstory here is that in late November Democrats learned that unless an AMT patch was passed quickly, the IRS wouldn't have time to reprogram its computers and lots of people would miss getting their refunds on time. So they fast tracked the patch, but Republicans in the Senate held it up unless they were allowed floor votes on some amendments that would have added additional
GOP Gets Its Way on Energy, Too
TNR The Plank
Another day, another Republican filibuster: McConnell's gang in the Senate just blocked the House energy bill, which would've begun the long, tortuous process of dismantling the country's altar to Big Oil. Dems will now, at the least, have to rip out the provisions requiring states to get 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. (They could try to make the Republicans filibuster the bill "for real," but Reid sounds like he wants to compromise.)
A few years back, Texas passed a similar "portfolio standard" in its statehouse and very rapidly became the wind capital of the countrydidn't want quippedwatch the Chamber of Commerce turn the volume up to 11 on the Lieberman-Warner climate bill that just got sent to the Senate floor (a bill, note, that's likely to be the most lenient cap-and-trade regime big business can ever hope for) ...
Dems protest Bush's surprise veto of defense bill
December 28, 2007
At the behest of the Iraqi government, President Bush has vetoed the annual defense authorization bill, saying an obscure provision in the legislation could make Iraqi assets held in U.S. banks vulnerable to lawsuits.
The veto startled Democratic congressional leaders, who believe Bush is bowing to pressure from the Iraqi government over a provision meant to help victims of state-sponsored terrorism. The veto was unexpected because there was no veto threat and the legislation passed both chambers of Congress overwhelmingly.
Democratic leaders say the provision in question could easily be worked out, but in vetoing the massive defense policy bill, some military pay raises may be on hold, as well as dozens of other programs. The White House contends that pay raises could be retroactive to Jan. 1 if the legislation is fixed.
"We understand that the president is bowing to the demands of the Iraqi government, which is threatening to withdraw billions of dollars invested in U.S. banks if this bill is signed," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), in a joint statement. "The administration should have raised its objections earlier, when this issue could have been addressed without a veto." [..]
At issue is a provision deep in the defense authorization bill, which would essentially allow victims of state sponsored terrorism to sue those countries for damages. The Iraqi government believes the provision, if applied to the regime of Saddam Hussein, could target up to $25 billion in Iraqi assets held in U.S. banks. [..]
"It is unfortunate that the administration failed to identify the concerns upon which this veto is based until after the bill had passed both houses on Congress and was sent to the President for signature," [Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin] said. "I am deeply disappointed that our troops and veterans may have to pay for their mistake and for the confusion and uncertainty caused by their snafu."
What is so unusual about this pending veto is that the White House almost always telegraphs a veto threat while a bill is under consideration so that changes can be made to the legislation to avoid a veto. This defense bill passed the House 370-49 and cleared the Senate on a 90-3 vote. According to Democratic leadership aides, the Bush administration did not raise any objections about the section in question until after the bill was transmitted to the White House.
Lautenberg contends that his provision is aimed at holding countries like Iran responsible for state sponsored terrorism, including the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beruit in 1983. The measure would allow plaintiffs to target hidden commercial assets owned by countries that sponsor terrorism, and the language is not aimed at Iraq specifically. The Lautenberg amendment has 30 cosponsors, including a handful of conservative Republicans like Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). [..]
A spokeswoman for the families of the Marines killed in the 1983 Beirut bombing issued a statement Friday afternoon saying she was disappointed with the veto.
"We have waited and wept and prayed and worked for 24 long years for justice," said Lynn Smith Derbyshire, whose brother was killed in the Beirut attack. "We implore President Bush and all our national leaders to remember that the goal of these provisions is to hold terrorists accountable for their actions."
McCAIN AND THE GOP
By now, everybody knows that the Senate version of the economic stimulus bill failed to overcome a Republican filibuster yesterday. You need 60 votes for that, and the final tally was 59-40. (Harry Reid changed his vote at the end for parliamentary reasons, so the reported tally was 58-41)
Part of story here is that John McCain, alone among senators, failed to show up to vote, and his vote could have made the difference. Mr. Straight Talk apparently didn't want to risk conservative backlash by voting in favor of moving forward, but also didn't want to risk his beloved independent cred by joining a party line vote against it. So he stayed home. It was a real profile in courage.
Mocking McCain's pretensions is always worthwhile, but there's a much bigger point to make too. The differences between the Senate bill and the original House/Bush bill were pretty modest. The Senate bill changed the distribution of the tax breaks slightly, extended unemployment benefits a few weeks, and offered heating aid for the poor, along with a few goodies specifically designed to appeal to Republicans. The grand total of the changes amounted to $44 billion over two years. This is not a huge amount of money.
Now, it's obvious that everyone believes a stimulus bill of some kind is a good idea (the House bill passed nearly unanimously), so it's not as if anyone voted against the Senate version because they believe it's a fundamentally flawed concept. And since the last month's worth of economic news has been uniformly bad, no one who believes in stimulus has any real reason to balk at fattening up the package a bit. This wasn't a principled stand about letting the economy work things out on its own.
But what happened? Republicans filibustered the larger bill and then sustained the filibuster on virtually a party line vote. Why? Because it had a few billion dollars of spending targeted at Democratic priorities. There's nothing more to it.
The moral of the story is this: Republicans have no intention of ever working with Democrats on anything remotely like a bipartisan basis. Even on something as trivial as this, they filibustered and won. They will do the same thing next year no matter who's president. They will do it on every single bill, no matter how minor. They will never stop obstructing. Period. Presidential hopefuls, take note.
The moral of the story is this: Republicans have no intention of ever working with Democrats on anything remotely like a bipartisan basis.
Quote:The moral of the story is this: Democrats have no intention of ever working with Republicans on anything remotely like a bipartisan basis.
We ought to understand that this is not merely a cynical interpretation. It is now an axiom.