The “Nuclear Option”, and Some Common Sense Filibuster Reform

by gradycarter

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Recently is was announced the Harry Reid and the Democrats in the United States Senate will be going the route of the “Nuclear Option” in regards to the filibuster. Republicans over the last few years have changed the market for the filibuster by doing to more than ever before, and by doing it on items that have never before been filibustered (Presidential Nominations). I personally am sad to see this happen, but I also understand a bit of why it is happening. The group No Lables, who I worked for a few years ago, has been pushing for bipartisan reforms for the last 3 years. I receive still receive their emails, and this is an excerpt from their most recent email about the “Nuclear Option”. If you are interested in learning more I suggest looking into who they are and what they are doing.

 

NO LABELS on the Fill:

GOING NUCLEAR: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this morning he plans to use the nuclear option to reform the nomination process to remove filibusters for most presidential nominees. This is an unprecedented move, one that when Reid was the minority leader said that the “nuclear fallout” would bring even more gridlock in a chamber that is already slow moving, according to Paul Kane. One solution to avoid this hyper-partisan move is our proposal to have presidential nominees be subject to an up-or-down vote within 90 days of the nomination: Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan for The Washington Post: The Senate is at Defcon-1 and about to change forever. Here’s what that means.

On their website here is how the filibuster reform is presented:

Up or Down Vote on Presidential Appointments

The Problem

When our Founders gave the Senate “Advice and Consent” power over presidential appointments, they hoped it would encourage the president to appoint qualified people and avoid conflicts of interest.

Today, it’s the senators themselves who seem to have conflicts of interest, with key presidential appointments routinely held up for trivial reasons or to serve the narrow interests of a single senator. In one notorious case from 2010, a senator held up over 70 presidential nominees at once to secure more federal spending for his state.

As of late 2011, more than 200 presidentially-appointed positions remained unfilled. In the last few years the directorship of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, key positions at the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve and numerous federal judgeships have been left unfilled for reasons that have little or nothing to do with the quality of the nominees.

– See more at: http://www.nolabels.org/work (#2)


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