Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Are Republicans creating a dysfunctional Congress?

I recently happened upon a post by digby at Hullabaloo that caught my eye. The title is Obstruct This, and it helps clarify why Democrats can't deliver on what a majority of the people in this country want!

The McClatchy Newspapers report:
This year Senate Republicans are threatening filibusters to block more legislation than ever before, a pattern that's rooted in — and could increase — the pettiness and dysfunction in Congress. [...]

Seven months into the current two-year term, the Senate has held 42 "cloture" votes aimed at shutting off extended debate — filibusters, or sometimes only the threat of one — and moving to up-or-down votes on contested legislation. Under Senate rules that protect a minority's right to debate, these votes require a 60-vote supermajority in the 100-member Senate. [...]
Democrats have trouble mustering 60 votes; they've fallen short 22 times so far this year. That's largely why they haven't been able to deliver on their campaign promises. [...]

Nearly 1 in 6 roll-call votes in the Senate this year have been cloture votes. If this pace of blocking legislation continues, this 110th Congress will be on track to roughly triple the previous record number of cloture votes — 58 each in the two Congresses from 1999-2002, according to the Senate Historical Office.
There you have it! Without at least 60 votes, the Dems are powerless to do the very things a majority of Americans want them to do -- end the war, bring the troops home, fix the healthcare problem ... etc.

By design the Senate is supposed to be a more deliberative body. But that doesn't give Republicans the right to obstruct legislation that is at the heart of why they lost control of Congress in the first place.

There are only two options here: 1) Pressure moderate Republicans to break from their party, or 2) Replace at least 8 Republicans with Democrats in 2008.

No comments: