Democrats seek to curb filibusters on appointees

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  • Bob K porland, OR
    Nov. 25, 2013 5:32 p.m.

    m.g. scott
    clearfield, UT
    Wow, so much can be said about the immature, childish, Reid and his take the ball home and not play by the rules anymore

    ....SERIOUSLY? When 3/4 or more of all the filibusters concerning judicial nominees have taken place trying to block President Obama?

    It is the republicans who polluted the sand in the box, and their foolish, blinded supporters who allowed it.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 5:01 p.m.

    Pagan said correctly: 82 filibusters under Obama.
    86 filibusters under every other President in American history.

    Yep, it's Obama's fault?

    Of course facts matter not to the adherents of the conservative religion.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Nov. 22, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    Lost in DC,

    No. It only adds to the partisan dysfunction that will haunt the next several presidencies.


    Maybe the rule change will be okay. But the political sting will remain and there will be the penchant for payback when the opportunity presents itself - then we all lose.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    "The political pendulum will swing and they will find themselves on the other side of this rule."

    Actually, I really don't mind if Republicans only need 50 + 1 to get their appointees through in such a time. Democrats rarely ever filibustered their nominations anyway and frankly an administration should have leeway to get their own people appointed since that's what the voters voted for. I think keeping the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations and for regular legislation is a good thing.

    "Can you hypocritical Demos name one Obama nominee that did not get approved? "

    Every proposed ATF head during Obama's first term, every CFPB head based on their hatred of Warren and the entire idea of the CFPB (until Obama got Cordrey through via recess appointment), almost every person Obama has nominated to the DC Court of Appeals (this year that includes rejections of Robert Wilkins just this past week, Cornelia Pillard, Caitlin Halligan, and Patricia Millett).

    "you guys in 2005 defending filibustering "

    There have been around 170 judicial nomination filibusters in US history, over 80 of them are during Obama's Presidency. The nuclear option wouldn't happen if Republicans weren't blocking everyone.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 22, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    @Pagan--why do you keep claiming the two wars cost four trillion dollars? It's not even close.

    And yes! We've been in Afghanistan all of the passed five years.

    More than three quarters of the worlds military weapons have come from our country. Much of it in the passed five years. Mexican Cartels, South Korea Egypt, Pakistan, Syrian Rebels, Indonesia, etc, do not make their own weapons. Comes from our nation. The country who wants to disarm their citizens.

    China, and Russia equals a combined fifteen percent

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    The Constitution allows the Senate and House to make their own in-house rules.

    The Senate changed the rule from 2/3 to 60 in 1975.

    Articulate well thought out comparisons to Hitler were rampant at that point.



    The House rule is based upon a simple majority.

    The Senate rule should be based upon the same premise.

    "...The maneuvering occurred after a decade in which first one party, then the other, nursed a lengthening list of grievances...".

    Maneuvering...nursing grievances...

    Surefire skills for success in any enterprise.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    'Democrats were sure in favor of filibustering when THEY were the minority!'

    Let's actually look at this claim, shall we?

    ‘When Democrats reclaimed the Senate majority in the 2006 midterm elections, cloture filings shot up from 68 in 2005-2006 (From Dems) to a record 139 in 2007-2008.' (From Republicans)

    **'The Rise Of Cloture: How GOP Filibuster Threats Have Changed The Senate' - Ben Frumin and Jason Reif - Talking Points Memo – 01/27/10

    So 68 under Dems.

    139 under Republicans. Almost double.

    As of 2012, almost 400 Republican filibusters in Senate.

    82 filibusters under Obama.

    86 filibusters under every other President in American history.

    Claims are great.

    But when they are proven wrong, some are simply lying, to try and gain support.

    Who said something about bearing false witness...?

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 22, 2013 10:59 a.m.


    President Bush worked across the table because the people across the table were willing to work with him. Tell me which republican leader will work with President Obama? John Boenher did in 2011 and had a deal on the debt until the tea party members of the house put an end to that and they have done nothing but obstruct since then.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Nov. 22, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    I believe that Reid finally concluded that since GOP cooperation on things like judicial appointments was so close to zero that there was almost no downside in changing the rule. The filibuster totals absolutely back that view. By contrast, Badger's attempted to tie this to "1930's Germany" is just an attempted revision of BOTH the past and present.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    c’mon, repeat three times
    Dem good, repub bad.

    Oh, wait, that has been the theme of every comment you’ve ever posted.

    You are not saying reid is acting maturely, you are just excusing him.
    Thanks for confirming how immature harry is.

    Sure they understand hypocrisy, they use it ALL THE TIME

    So a supposition – what if? – is justification for changing the rules?

    So you are OK with al queda attacking us and killing over 3000 US citizens? Thanks.

    Stifling anything BO wants is the best way to preserve the wealth and strength of the nation.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Nov. 22, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    I can think of many governments who seize with power, rather than cooperation, but I've not much good to say of any of them. What would be hilarious is if the Republican party holds the house and takes control of the senate or the white house.

    President Bush worked across the table, one must give him that. It's something our current president sorely lacks.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Nov. 22, 2013 6:59 a.m.

    Democrats were sure in favor of filibustering when THEY were the minority! Can you hypocritical Demos name one Obama nominee that did not get approved? You guys are making it so easy to defeat you in future elections! All the GOP has to do is show the tapes of you guys in 2005 defending filibustering to protect the minority and compare that with what you say NOW! This power grab and now Obamacare? Early Christmas gifts for the GOP!

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Nov. 22, 2013 6:49 a.m.

    This is evidence of the increasing partisanship infesting Washington.

    Any clear-eyed analysis shows that the Republicans have been stymieing anything and everything Pres. Obama wants. Even non-controversial nominees later approved by wide margins have been "slow walked" through the process. Republicans have simply stopped the process and there was no good way out.

    That said, this will likely come back to bite the Democrats hard. The political pendulum will swing and they will find themselves on the other side of this rule. Further, this just indicates just how poorly the Senate is able to get along these days.

    This is not good for either party. And leaders on both sides should be looking hard in the mirror and asking "is what we are doing really best for our country long-term?"

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 22, 2013 1:28 a.m.

    Democrats need regulation.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 11:14 p.m.

    'Power gets concentrated to the party. Remind anyone of the 1930's Germany?'

    Let's use a more recent example.

    2001. Republicans had a majority in the House, Senate and a 2 time Republican President.


    Invaded two countries, 500k dead and $4 trillion dollars lost. Patriot Act stripes away American privacy, NDAA, TSA…

    and the national debt, doubled.

    But hey, let's get more upset about a website. Because 'that's how Hitler started!'


  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 11:07 p.m.

    Don't want to do your job..?

    **'Since Democrats took control of the Senate in 2006, Republicans Have Mounted 380 Filibusters' - 12-09-12 - Sarah Jones

    '“Since Democrats took control of the Senate in 2006, Republicans have mounted 380 filibusters. This far exceeds anything we’ve seen before in the Senate. By comparison, in Lyndon B. Johnson’s six years as Senate majority leader, he faced just one filibuster.”

    If you don't want to do your job…

    I know PLENTY of other people who will work Part time.

    And make $175,000 a year.

    Since the GOP 'took America back' they are officially the LEAST productive congress in history. Factually shutting down the government.

    Do your job.

    Or someone else will.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 10:19 p.m.

    Power gets concentrated to the party. Remind anyone of the 1930's Germany?

    A double win for the democrats, more power, and distract from the current crisis they have caused, the ACA.

    Incidentally, Hitler enacted huge social programs during 1930's.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 7:01 p.m.

    @mg scott
    Seriously, Democrats rarely filibustered Bush appointees. Meanwhile, Senator Graham has a hold on EVERY Obama appointee because he wants something something Benghazi please-get-me-past-my-primary.

    Over half of all filibusters of judicial nominees in US history have been during the Obama administration.

    "We all know that this move is the the first in an attempt to STACK the DC circuit court of appeals with liberal judges so Obama can put as many lifetime leftist judicial appointments as possible. I remember Roosevelt tried to stack the court to"

    No, these are not even remotely close. The DC circuit has 11 seats. 3 are vacant. It's the president's job to nominate replacements. What Roosevelt tried to do was add extra seats to the Surpeme Court instead of the 9. If Obama was trying to put 12 or more in the DC circuit then that would be court packing. What he's doing right now is his job, nominating replacements when spots open up. Any president is supposed to be filling those spots. The only ones going for partisan gain here are the Republicans who believe only they can appoint judges.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    It's about time! Change the rules for the old boys club. Get the ball moving and do something back there. When the GOP regains control let them do it as well. Right now, nothing gets done because "that's the way it's always been done".

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    While I think mg scotts comments about childish behavior is rather lopsided seeing as both sides have been behaving so poorly in this situation I do think changing the rules is a bad idea. I would like to be believe people are smart enough to see that the republican party has been doing nothing but sitting back on their hands and saying no to everything that comes along. So far the poll numbers generally bare that out but if not then we get the government we deserve.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 4:46 p.m.


    The Democrats rarely filibustered Bush??? Oh come on. Your definition of rare would be well done on my menu.

    We all know that this move is the the first in an attempt to STACK the DC circuit court of appeals with liberal judges so Obama can put as many lifetime leftist judicial appointments as possible. I remember Roosevelt tried to stack the court too. Didn't work. Be careful what you wish for, because this basically throws out the rule book the Senate has lived by for most of its existence. And, I certainly don't want to read anymore complaints about the Republicans not cooperating in Congress. No one will work with people who throw dung in their face. Now this country will become even more divided.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    Items of note:

    1. Over half of all filibusters, ever, have occurred since Obama became president. It used to be selectively used, but has become the default way of business. "If you don't have 60 votes, you can't do anything".

    2. Reid and other Democrats came to believe that Republicans would have changed the rules anyway, if they got a majority in the Senate and occupied the White House. (Yes, things have descended to that point in Washington.)

    3. The issue that caused Reid to finally use the nuclear option was three openings on the DC circuit court, which is an important part of the federal judiciary. All signs pointed to McConnell and the GOP blocking the nominees until Obama's second term is over. This in no way resembles anything the Constitutional framers intended.

    Supreme Court nominees, and any legislation still has the 60 vote filibuster threshold.

  • Selznik Saint George, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    This isn't about legislation, just just judicial and executive nominees.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    I totally agree with m.g. scott. Harry Reid has proven himself to be the kind of person that if he can't have exactly what he wants, he'll keep changing the rules until he does.

    This senate rule has been in place for many decades and used through many different administrations... both democrat and republican. It's meant to allow the minority party to still have a voice in congressional affairs. Both parties previously saw the wisdom in that.

    Apparently, there will be no end to the liberal political changes under Obama's administration... both with policies and rules. It's little wonder Obama's approval rating is now at an all-time low.

    Democrats should remember the old cliche... Be careful what you ask for. It might just come back to bite you.
    And in this case, it definitely will. It's just a question of time. The ebb and flow of political party majorities will definitely continue.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    "I urge my Republican colleagues not to go through with changing these rules. In the long run it is not a good result for either party. One day Democrats will be in the majority and this rule change will be no fairer to a Republican minority than it is to a Democrat minority."

    Guess who said that in 2005 when he was a Senator?

    Do I even need to answer that?

    I wonder if Democrats even understand the concept of hypocrisy? But since the new rule of Democrat politics is "The ends justify the means" I guess this fits in pretty well with their two faced values.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    Democrats very rarely filibustered appointees made by Bush. Republicans do it for just about every single one made by Obama. I really don't care if the filibuster is eliminated for appointees (it will stay in place for other legislation) and Republicans get into the White House. Republicans should be able to pick their own staff too.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    Immature? Reid? How about Senator Graham who put a hold on every single administration appointee just because he's angsting about Benghazi for political primary purposes? The Republicans have been abusing the system for years and Reid didn't want to go this route but if Republicans are going to keep blocking appointees to everything for reasons that aren't relevant to the DHS or ATF or Appeals Court... then it's the fault of Republicans for setting unprecedented levels of obstruction.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    OK Democrats, you went ahead and used the "nuclear option" according to news after my first post. A few years ago, when some Republicans wanted to do this in the Senate and make it a 51 vote body rather than a 60 vote, it was criticized, and discouraged as a bad idea from Democrats, Republicans, and media pundits of all stripes. Well, Well. What now? I think this is being done by the Democrats because they see the writing on the wall. Next election it will be goodby to the Democrat majority in the Senate, and now is the time to stack the deck on the courts, which is what this is all about. All I can say to Reid and Obama is, what goes around, comes around. One day you will regret having done this when the new Robert Bork is about to be put on the Supreme Court and you can't stop it.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    Wow, so much can be said about the immature, childish, Reid and his take the ball home and not play by the rules anymore. If the Democrats get away with this, it will be all out war in Congress, for the rest of Obama, and probably forever. And yet they say we are supposed to be working together to get stuff done. Imagine how the Democrats will feel if they find themselves in the minority in Congress after 2014 and their only hope of stopping Republican legislation is the fillabuster. And Particularly if the next President is Republican. Then, the Democrats will cry foul all over the place if they don't have the 60 vote protection against stopping the filabuster. Reid has done it himself many times when he was minority leader. But now, he wants it his way. Why don't he and the Democrats just craft a bill that says: When Democrats are in the minority they CAN fillabuster, but if the Republicans are in the minority they CANNOT fillabuster. That's about the level of Democrat leadership thinking these days. I'm sure Obama would sign it too.