Category Archives: Senate

Senatorial Courtesy, Blue Slips Caught in the Fallout

Ian Millhiser has a very good piece on judicial nominations and blue slips over at Think Progress. It covers a lot of ground and is a wonderful read. However, I do have some bones to pick with his take. At the core … Continue reading

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Tradition v. Partisanship: Holds in a Post-Nuclear Senate

Originally posted for the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown. Since roughly the 1950s, “holds” have been a staple of the Senate landscape. Though they can’t be found in the Senate rulebook or precedents, holds have played an important role in … Continue reading

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Rules Changes through Precedent: History and Consequences

Don Wolfensberger wrote a nice piece on the parallels between Majority Leader Reid’s nuclear option  and Speaker Reed’s ruling in 1890 that eliminated dilatory motions in the House. Both are good examples of rules changes through precedent. The two were so … Continue reading

Posted in American Political Development, Filibuster, Legislative Procedure, Political Institutions, Senate | Leave a comment

The Senate’s Nuclear Winter… or Not

Since Democrats invoked the nuclear option, reducing cloture on judicial and executive nominations, there are serious concerns that those actions would result in fallout. Would the Republican minority, in retaliation to losing significant leverage in the nominations process, attempt to … Continue reading

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The Senate Went Nuclear. Is the Filibuster on the Endangered List?

Enormous change to the Senate occurred today. By majority vote, the Senate moved to proceed on judicial and executive nominations, with the exception of Supreme Court nominations. What you need to know: The parliamentary tactic used in the Senate was … Continue reading

Posted in Filibuster, Legislative Procedure, Senate | 8 Comments

Simulating the Syria Resolution Vote in the Full Senate

Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7 to approve President Obama’s request to conduct military strikes against Syria (one member of the committee–Ed Markey–courageously voted “present”). With the Syrian resolution clearing the committee stage, it now heads to the … Continue reading

Posted in Filibuster, Legislative Politics, Senate | 4 Comments

Reforming Polarization and Gridlock: Series on Congressional Reform

For someone who studies congressional development, the past couple years have been frustrating. Many people with noble intentions proposed reforms to remedy our dysfunctional Congress. However, these discussions have almost universally missed the causes of gridlock and polarization. They offer remedies … Continue reading

Posted in Filibuster, Legislative Politics, Legislative Procedure, Polarization, Political Institutions, Senate, Separation of Powers | 1 Comment