Article: Dysfunctional Congress

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 237
  • Published : May 12, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
1. Filibuster creates gridlock:
* -- Article in December 2012 * In recent years, the number of filibusters has risen dramatically. According to the Democrats, Republicans launched more than 385 filibusters (that forced cloture votes) since 2007. That's compared to only 49 cloture votes from 1919 to 1970. After 1970, the number started to rise - perhaps prompting the 1975 rule change - until the number really jumped in the mid-2000s. * The major change of the filibuster in 1975 sets the threshold to route a filibuster lower from 67 lawmakers to 60. * Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid states: the Senate "is not working as it should" because of the number of filibusters. He proposes a rule change that would mean he could overcome a filibuster when trying to bring a bill to the floor with the simple majority, or 51 senators, instead of 60 (the Democrats will have 55 seats in the Senate in the next Congress). Another Reid proposal would mandate that filibustering senators would have to be physically present to maintain a Senate blockade. * Same issue in 2005 when the Republicans had majority rule, Democrats heavy use of filibuster including Republicans not being able to pass President George W. Bush's judicial nominees because of Democratic-led filibusters * Good quotes to show the change in views when having majority rule: * The Republicans then (Majority):

* "Despite the incredulous protestations of our Democratic colleagues, the Senate has repeatedly adjusted its rules as circumstances dictate." -Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., May 23, 2005. * "All of you know that we're struggling right now with an assault on over 220 years of Senate tradition by the Democrats filibustering circuit court nominees, thus denying us the reasonable responsibility of an up-or-down vote to give advice and consent." -Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., April 13, 2005 * And now(minority):

* "I think it is a huge mistake, not only for the Senate, but it will impact obviously our short-term ability to come together and work on the really big problems." -McConnell, Nov. 27, 2012 * "This is exactly the wrong way to start off on a new year and end an old year with a ton of problems that we have to deal with. ... we ought to be sitting down together and trying to solve the nation's huge, huge deficit and debt problems." -McConnell, Nov. 28, 2012 * And the Democrats in 2005:

* "If the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the gridlock and the bitterness will only get worse." -Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., April 13, 2005 * Republicans "have to be very careful... before [they] start tinkering with the rules." -Reid, April 13, 2005 * "You would be breaking the rules to change the rules, very un-America." -Reid, April 21, 2005 * And now:

* "The Republicans have increased the numbers of filibusters so out of proportion to any changes here in the Senate. It is hard to comprehend. The Senate is not working as it should." -Reid, Nov. 28, 2012 * The American people "want to see progress, not partisan delay games. That hasn't changed, and the President supports Majority Leader Reid's efforts to reform the filibuster process." -White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, Nov. 28, 2012 2. Criticisms on wasteful government spending according to —“Federal Spending by the Numbers 2012” by The Heritage Foundation and “Waste Book 2012,” a report by the office of Senator Tom Coburn * Fiscal year 2012 is the fourth consecutive year with a trillion-dollar-plus deficit. Total federal debt has surpassed $16 trillion. Federal spending reached $3.6 trillion—or 22.9 percent as a share of the economy—in 2012. Despite these frightening figures,...
tracking img