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Filibuster Reform

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Amekonnen, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Amekonnen

    Amekonnen Fourth Year

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    Based off a bit of a detail in the US 2020 Election thread. How would you guys reform the filibuster? Or would you get rid of it? If so how would you replace it/handles the fallout?

    I'll would go first, but I'm kinda meh in this subject.
     
  2. Agayek

    Agayek Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    As mentioned in that thread, the filibuster in and of itself is a very good tool to have in the legislative arsenal. It gives some real power to the minority party and lets them serve as an effective check on the majority party without actually disrupting the flow of government work. However, the current way it's set up has some serious issues that need to be addressed.

    The first is the two-track system, where, in essence, a filibusted bill gets put on hold from time to time to let the body address another piece of legislation. On the surface, this seems like a good idea to minimize disruptions for the non-contentious pieces, and I'm sure that's what the intent was, but in practice, it simply removes the only incentive to not filibuster.

    The second problem is that, at least in the Senate, you don't even need to filibuster to filibuster. A Senator can just declare that they're filibustering a bill and it gets locked in that hell. Whereas before that rule change, the Senator would at least have to demonstrate a bare minimum level of commitment to grinding the gears of government to a halt by getting up and having to talk for the full duration of the filibuster.

    A direct result of both of these is that the filibuster has become a flat-out routine piece of daily operations in the US Congress. Anything even vaguely contentious (read: practically everything these days) gets filibustered, and it drags out what should be fairly simple, routine things into labyrinthine messes of politicking and bureaucracy. For no bloody reason.

    There need to be rule changes put into place to eliminate both the two-track system and the 'virtual filibuster', and then the system would be pretty healthy I feel. It would be a highly effective tool, but not one used lightly. It'd be onerous enough to use that it'd necessitate real commitment to stopping a particular bill, which is how it should be used in the first place.
     
  3. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony ~ Prestige ~

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    Pretty much agreed with everything Agayek said. Filibusters weren't really a problem when they required substantial physical exertion and personal sacrifice on the part of the Senators doing them. It's when they made it easy that people started abusing them.
     
  4. Giovanni

    Giovanni God of Scotch

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    Just get rid of it and switch to majority rules like in the House. McConnell is only talking about bringing it back now because he's afraid of losing his majority and being on the other side of the rules he spent the last 3 decades forcing into place.
     
  5. Amekonnen

    Amekonnen Fourth Year

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    Really? Wouldn't that cause an issue with there being more instability in regulations in congress?
     
  6. Giovanni

    Giovanni God of Scotch

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    Administrative rules and regulations are written by the executive branch. Legislation is passed by Congress. Wholesale administrative rules changes are already common at this point.

    As for legislation, filibuster has already been nerfed for budget reconciliation for a long time, and all sorts of shit happens there. It's an anachronism that doesn't serve anyone well.
     
  7. Amekonnen

    Amekonnen Fourth Year

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    How long has this been going on? I mean I knew that the Executive branch has essentially been gaining power because they execute the laws, but I always thought that they had to follow some sort of rule book that congress sets out.

    Also yeh I forgot about budget reconciliation, but maybe by making the filibuster harder to do instead of just using the reconciliation route will incentivize lawmakers to actually make new laws.

    Note: Random thought, just thinking about the commerce clause and the hilariously large power it gives the government is funny and worrying. Probably should make a seperate thread on how to fix that issue.
     
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