Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Rule XIV

According to the Christian Science Monitor, we may soon be hearing a lot about Senate Rule XIV.

Senator Democratic leader Harry Reid gave no signs of backing off the filibuster threat. For the first time, he also laid out plans for a post nuclear-option Senate. "I have always said we wanted to make sure that the Senate went forward, but we're going to do it on our own agenda," he said.

In recent days, Democrats have been quietly putting their own bills on the Senate calendar. Using an obscure Senate procedure called Rule XIV, they plan to move these bills onto the agenda if Republicans "pull the trigger" on the nuclear option. By tradition, it's the Senate majority leader who sets the Senate agenda.

"By invoking the nuclear option, they will have shattered the comity in the Senate, so Democrats won't be bound by the usual way of doing business," says Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Democrats.

These bills include legislation to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions by increasing funding for family planning, giving more help to disabled veterans, renewing pay-as-you-go provisions to curb federal deficits, guaranteeing overtime pay for workers, and raising the minimum wage.

So what is Rule XIV? Basically, it is a way around unanimous consent and the Senate Majority Leader setting the agenda. According to a standard reference, a bill technically can be introduced by anyone... the penalty for lacking unanimous consent is that the bill, "shall be placed on the Calendar under the heading of 'Resolutions and Motions over, under the Rule,' to be laid before the Senate on the next legislative day... before the termination of the morning hour."

This gives me hope that, if the nuclear option should be employed, the Democrats can avoid the charge of obstructionism--perhaps even make the Republicans look bad by forcing them to fight one Democratic initiative after another. Good news for the good guys: the Democrats can use tactical nukes in response to the "nuclear option."


Anonymous said...

LTG has long said that Harry Ried was the right guy for this job. These reports seem to confirm his view.

I think too that the most important way the Democrats have to retaliate against the Republicans proposed ending of the filibuster is to make clear that once the Republicans remove the filibuster the Democrats will not reinstate it once they gain the majority. The Republicans will - in effect - gain more right wing judges today but at the cost of suffering more left wing judges in future. Better to have centrist judges all the time. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

I'm slowly coming around to agree with one of RxR's first posts on this issue: that the Senate Democrats can win this one. 

// posted by Dr. Strangelove

Anonymous said...

Here's the difference:
Republicans would like to win, but only the wingnuts care.
Democrats have to. 

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

Here's a rundown on what exactly Reid is planning to introduce.  Check it out, it's a pretty good list. 

// posted by Bell Curve

Anonymous said...

LTG brings up a good point. How much fight is this really worth to someone like Voinovich? Its worth one heck of a lot of fight to all the Democrats. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

Bell Curve! That list looks like a Democratic Party agenda for 2006! If they don't introduce these bills in response to the "nuclear option" they'll be putting these forward as a Democratic "Contract With America" style platform! Great! 

// posted by Raised By Republicans