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Democrats decide preserving the filibuster is more important than helping the unemployed

In Pravda, we read:

Senate hits another dead end on unemployment benefits
The Senate remained gridlocked Thursday over the effort to renew emergency unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless, including more than 1.7 million Americans without work who lost their benefits as the federal program expired in late December.

In a largely party-line vote, Democrats came a single vote shy of the 60-vote hurdle to break a filibuster by Republicans, who complained that the latest proposal did not have a proper offsetting spending cut to lessen the impact on the federal deficit. Additionally, the two sides continued to squabble over procedural matters related to how many amendments the Republicans would be allowed to offer.

Well, back in November 2013, we see this headline:

Reid, Democrats trigger ‘nuclear’ option; eliminate most filibusters on nominees

In other words, the Democrats were happy to get nuke the filibuster for patronage nominees in 2013, but not for the unemployed, in 2014. Serious analysis would begin with this fact, not obscure it.

So headlines like this -- Breaking: GOP blocks unemployment extension by one vote -- aren't especially helpful, since the Republicans could only block the bill because Democrats enabled them to do so, which they do not do in all cases.

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nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

There's an argument to be made for a deliberative body to have an extremely loose rule on members' right to argue their case at as much length as they feel necessary. And that extends even to the members' right to decide what argumentation is relevant. Like anything else, it's subject to abuse, but it's defensible. However, the minute this moves from a right to argue your case to a simple requirement for a supermajority without any other legislative purpose, the rule becomes corrupt.

Governance that thus thwarts majority rule is quite simply corrupt.

paintedjaguar's picture
Submitted by paintedjaguar on

"to renew emergency unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless"

At least for the "long-term jobless" who were lucky enough to have a decent job to begin with and who manage to jump through all the right hoops. As with Obamacare, all the hubbub completely ignores the large number of people who just slip through the cracks. I suppose as long as the benefits last one can still tell oneself that "I'm not like those bums over there", but once you slip over the edge, well then you become one of the invisible and untouchable.

Submitted by lambert on

"If you have no place to go, come here...."

Not that blogging is a cure for everything, or even much, but it's not silence, at least.