Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Filibuster Reform ALMOST accomplished

Almost.  Harry Reid huffed and puffed and glared and threatened, said he was really REALLY gonna stand up to the Republicans and finally crack down, finally put an end to four and a half years of government by fiat filibuster.  Yes, he had already said this before, made these same threats a hundred times already — but this time he really really meant it.

But the Republicans were persuasive, as always.  They came up with a “compromise,” and Harry Reid agreed to it.  Under this new agreement, Senate Republicans will hold the football in place, and when Harry Reid comes running up to kick it, the Republicans won’t yank the ball away and then laugh their asses off when Harry Reid falls ass over teakettle.  The Republicans have made this exact same promise before and they’ve broken it every time.  But THIS time it’ll be different.

In their first show of Good Faith — that is, if “Good Faith” and “Republicans” isn’t an oxymoron — Senate Republicans agreed to allow an up or down vote on Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Richard Cordray is already in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, via a recess appointment which Obama had to make after the GOP’s constant filibustering.  But now it’s official, or at least it will be if the Republicans live up to their agreement.

Republicans agreed to allow a few other long-stalled nominations to “move forward,” without giving any other specifics like which nominations and when.

In return for this magnanimous gesture by the GOP, President Obama has agreed to withdraw the nominations of his two appointees to the National Labor Relations Board.  These two board members, like Richard Cordray, had already been appointed by recess appointment, but a federal judge ruled that the Senate wasn’t actually in recess at the time.  Let’s see, ninety-nine senators were away on vacation, and one senator came into the chamber every three days to turn on the lights, hang around for a minute and a half, then turn out the lights and leave.  Yup, the Senate was in session, since that’s about how productive they are whether they’re physically occupying the premises or not.

Republicans have agreed not to filibuster Obama’s two replacement nominees to the National Labor Relations Board, but ONLY if Republicans have a hand in choosing the nominees.  Right now the National Labor Relations Board is completely immobilized — unable to take any actions whatsoever — because of having too many vacancies on the Board.

Without further delay, the GOP will nominate Scott Walker and Charles Koch to the National Labor Relations Board and these nominations will be fast-tracked.

Isn’t compromise great?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never understood how the Senate could be in Session with one Senator? There is something called a Quorum.


July 16, 2013 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger jim marquis said...

That's funny, I always thought it was called a Santorum.

July 16, 2013 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

What's a senate?

July 17, 2013 at 5:25 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: That's ironic, for sure. The Labor Board can't function if 3 out of their 5 board positions aren't filled, but the Senate is "in session" if just one senator is present and able to turn the lights on and off.

Jim: No, that's something even ickier.

Randal: Nobody knows.

July 17, 2013 at 2:07 PM  

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