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Entries in Filibuster (2)


US Politics: "Cooling Saucer" or "Tar Pit"? The Filibuster Continues in the Senate

So there will be few dramas on legislation this year. That is, unless a Democratic minority in the Senate –--where some fiscally conservative members could join a united Republican caucus –-- endorses cuts in government spending. And then we start talking reconciliation for finance bills and Presidential vetoes.

But enough speculation; the filibuster remains largely as it was, and along with it the nearly impenetrable rules of the Senate. "Cooling saucer" or "tar pit"? You decide.

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A Beginner's Tour of the US Elections: The Power of the Majority and the Senate Race in Nevada

The election in Nevada may well see the ousting of Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader, either by his loss to Angle or by the Republicans winning enough of the seven other toss-up seats to relegate him to a member of the minority. Either way, one thing is certain: neither party will achieve the super-majority of 60 Senators needed to ensure the passage of controversial legislation in the next Congress by defeating any filibuster. If Reid survives as Majority Leader, Democrats will have a greater chance of proposing liberal legislation, but as current Senate rules, they stand little chance of passing them. A Republican Majority Leader, despite the advantages of controlling the composition of Senate committees, will face a similar predicament when it comes to passing conservative legislation.

In fact, unless the Senate miraculously rediscovers the bipartisan tone of compromise it once possessed, it is hard to see what either party with a simple majority can hope to accomplish in the next two years.

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