Senate Democrats Really Don’t Want to Govern

By: Thursday January 24, 2013 12:29 pm

Millions of voters  across the country gave Democrats a majority in the Senate this past November.  They gave Democrats the power to fully govern the chamber. Democrats in the Senate were handed the ability to pass any bill they wanted and approve any nominee by President Obama they deem qualified. Today the Senate Democratic caucus decided [...]

Reid Considering Incredibly Watered Down Bipartisan Rules Reform. Update: Deal Reached

By: Thursday January 24, 2013 7:55 am

Update: Reid has reached the deal with McConnell. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is close to reaching a bipartisan deal with Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on changing the Senate rules. To even call this package of incredibly minor changes “reform” requires stretching the definition of the word almost to its breaking point. Almost nothing of [...]

The Filibuster Has Eliminated the Point of a Senate Budget

By: Wednesday January 23, 2013 9:30 am

Republicans have managed to whip themselves into a frenzy about the failure of Senate Democrats to pass a “budget” in over four years. What seems to be lost in this discussion, though, is the fact that the normalization of the filibuster has effectively eliminated any reason for a Senate majority to adopt a budget. It [...]

Mitch McConnell Lays Down His Marker on the Debt Ceiling Negotiation

By: Thursday January 3, 2013 8:33 am

Even though Speaker John Boehner should be the most powerful Republican in Washington, as we have seen, it is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who ends up making the deals. McConnell is not only more skilled at getting agreements, but he can more successfully whip his caucus behind any decision he makes. So when McConnell [...]

Harry Reid Calls for Filibuster Reform

By: Friday May 11, 2012 9:09 am

In a rather monumental development Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called for the filibuster to be reformed on the Senate floor. From Politico: “If there were ever a time when Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley were prophetic, it’s tonight,” Reid said on the floor. “These two young, fine senators said it was time to change [...]

Far From the “Greatest,” US Senate is a National Shame

By: Friday March 2, 2012 10:28 am

One thing I’m grown increasingly tired of is the old trope that the United State Senate is somehow the “world’s greatest deliberative body.” The already absurd claim was taken to even greater levels of hyperbole by Senator Olympia Snowe in her op-ed about her retirement. She called the Senate the “greatest deliberative body in human [...]

Yep, Change the Senate Rules Really Is that Easy

By: Friday October 7, 2011 8:08 am

The biggest Congressional news story yesterday was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoking the rarely used procedure of appealing the ruling of the chair to the full Senate. When this is done, a simple majority of the Senate decides how the Senate rules should be interpreted. A majority of current senators are the people in [...]

Senate Debt Ceiling Watch Party – Part III

By: Saturday July 30, 2011 4:42 pm

Live on CSPAN2 now Liveblog: 10:13 – Reid: Senate will resume at 12 noon tomorrow.  If cloture is not invoked, debate will continue on the Reid amendment. 10:07: Reid – There are negotiations going on right now at the White House. We want to give everyone as much space as possible to reach an agreement, [...]

Senate Debt Ceiling Watch Party – Part II

By: Saturday July 30, 2011 1:29 pm

Video: McConnell and Reid spar over vote on Reid amendment today

Patriot Act Vote Reminds Us How Bipartisanship Undermines Accountability

By: Tuesday May 24, 2011 11:14 am

Now, ten years after 9/11, with Osama bin Laden dead, in a broad bipartisan vote, the United States Senate moved forward with another extension of the “temporary” Patriot Act. The vote was 74-8. Both the support and the very limited opposition to this extension were near-even slits along party lines; true bipartisan efforts. As a [...]