The US Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that “Reconciliation”, the idea that the Senate can pass legislation by a 51 vote margin, is allowable, already for the COVID 19 legislation that was passed in March, but also now other Joe Biden initiatives, including the infrastructure legislation, and hopefully, other important Biden administration initiatives.
This is a true blessing, and might mean that the idea of ending the filibuster might not need to occur on much important legislation.
This makes it possible for Joe Biden to be more “liberal” and “progressive” a President than any Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson six decades ago.
For all the good that Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama did while in office, Joe Biden MIGHT indeed surpass them in accomplishments!
The future looks very exciting, but there is a long way to go, but the hope is there!
The filibuster is a anti democratic tactic used for many decades to prevent progress.
For a long time, the requirement was 67 Senators, two thirds of the Senate, to overcome a filibuster.
Lyndon Johnson was famous for fighting the filibuster, and overcoming the barrier in 1964 to pass the landmark Civil Rights Act of that year.
In 1975, the barrier of the filibuster was lowered to 60 Senators to end debate, and allow for a vote on legislation and appointments.
With the Republican Party refusing to cooperate at all on the COVID 19 Pandemic legislation, after almost all House and Senate members of both parties did so twice in 2020, it is time to move, at least, to lower the threshold from 60 to 55 Senators, in order to be able to make progress.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz failed to break the record of a filibuster today, stopping after 21 hours and 19 minutes, while the record remains 24 hour and 18 minutes by Strom Thurmond in 1957.
Also, Senator Alfonse D’Amato of New York and Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon surpassed Cruz in time spent on a filibuster.
Cruz is no hero, as he had a few breaks with assistance from fellow Tea Party activists Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, James Inhofe, and a few other Republican Senators, and went off topic, referring to Dr. Seuss, Star Wars, Ashton Kutcher, and other extraneous topics.
On the other hand, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis spent 13 hours in her filibuster against the limitations on Texas health care recently, with no assistance allowed by others, and no extraneous topics allowed.
And Wendy Davis was speaking FOR health care, while Cruz has worked AGAINST health care coverage.
So Ted Cruz is a villain, while Wendy Davis is a hero!
The Senate filibuster used to be employed to prevent civil rights legislation, with South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond becoming infamous for the longest individual filibuster in Senate history in 1957 on that subject. Thurmond does not look very good in history due to his prejudiced, narrow minded stand on that topic.
Now Senator Rand Paul has used the filibuster tactic months ago to protest drone policy on foreign soil, and a crazy fear that drones would be used against Americans on domestic soil.
And Senator Ted Cruz is right this minute using the filibuster to attempt to destroy ObamaCare, denying millions of Americans the opportunity to have decent health care.
Neither Paul from months ago, and Cruz today, are going to change American policy, as the President will use drones only overseas, as a measure of defense and security policy against terrorists, including Americans who fight for the enemy; and ObamaCare will proceed, no matter what Cruz says or does.
But in the process, only the loonies on the extreme right will rally to either Paul or Cruz, and the Tea Party movement may have impact in the House of Representatives and with a few Senators, but both men are self destructing before our eyes by their own words and actions! If the GOP is nuts enough to nominate either of these characters for President, they will get what they deserve, a walloping defeat in 2016!