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So why do Democrats have to engage in actual Senate floor filibusters and Republican don't?

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:44 PM
Original message
So why do Democrats have to engage in actual Senate floor filibusters and Republican don't?
Senator Wyden is threatening to engage in a filibuster on the Senate floor to stop a right-wing bill against internet freedom from passing the Senate.

"The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) would ruin so much of what's best about the Internet: They will give the government and corporations new powers to block Americans' access to sites that are accused of copyright infringement, force sites like YouTube to go to new lengths to police users' contributions, and put people in prison for streaming certain content online.

There's a good chance this legislation will pass but Senator Ron Wyden is a steadfast opponent, and he says he'll try to block it by filibustering if it comes up for a vote.

Sometimes filibusters last hours or days leaving Senators reading out of the dictionary or cookbooks to pass the time. But we've got a better idea:

Millions of Americans support Internet freedom. What better way to demonstrate our strength than to ask Senator Wyden to read our names into the record during his filibuster? He's agreed to read censorship opponents' names from the floor of the Senate, and to try to enter the rest into the Congressional Record."

From:
http://stopcensorship.org/

So why don't the Democrats conduct the usual phantom "procedural filibuster" that Republicans always use to stop legislation proposed by Democrats?

Using the Democrats arguments in defense of Republican procedural filibusters, such a procedural filibuster by Democrats would kill the legislation and prevent it from even coming to a vote since 60 votes are needed to end a phantom Senate floor debate.

Isn't that true?

And if Senator Wyden engages in a real Senate filibuster can't other liberal Senators participate in it and make their own points?
Just take turns, hour after hour, day after day.

Reading names is OK but what does Senator Wyden intend to do after he's finished reading those names?

And again, why not use the procedural filibuster? Perhaps Democrats are preparing to abandon that procedure should the Republicans gain control of the Senate next year. I'm certain some Democratic Senators don't want to be obstructionists and stand in the Republicans way!
We called them "Bush enablers" during his presidency.
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inademv Donating Member (738 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. He should just use his privilage to hold the bill
And if he doesn't, he wasn't sincere about stopping it in the first place.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. You might be right. Can't one Senator alone put a hold on a bill or am I wrong?

Perhaps I'm thinking of Presidential nominations but maybe an indefinite hold can also be placed on legislation.

And like you said, if true, it would take just one Senator to kill the bill .... Wyden, Sanders or some other liberal.
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inademv Donating Member (738 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. The hold power applies to any legislation I believe
At least that's how the Republicans have been using it for the past 3 years.
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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Senator Wyden has said publicly that he is opposed to holds.
He has said the Senate should not honor them.
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inademv Donating Member (738 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 02:35 AM
Response to Reply #13
32. That doesn't change reality
His opposition to the rule doesn't mean it doesn't exist and can't be used and when it comes to something serious like this he ought to use all tools at his disposal to prevent its passage.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. so will the president veto it? - you know, in the name of freedom of information and transparency nt
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Not if President Obama supports government control over the internet.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
6. Because filibusters don't work that way.
The only reason to believe that a filibuster requires constant talk is if you got your civics education from "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," which hasn't been accurate for 40 years now.
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SomethingFishy Donating Member (552 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. They certainly don't.
All a Republican needs to do in this day and age is threaten to filibuster and the Democrats cave in like a sink hole. No talking involved. Hell no filibuster involved. It's a great fucking system, really, we should just shut the fuck up and enjoy it.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Uh, NO.
And I am sick to death of this completely wrong belief that somehow the Republicans haven't been made to "really" filibuster anything. That's simply not true. They have filibustered often.

Filibusters do not involve people standing on the floor and talking for long periods of time. They have not involved that for more than forty years.

The rules regarding filibusters were changed specifically to PREVENT a very small group of Senators from holding up business, such as the southern Senators did on civil rights bills. "Filibuster" today is failure to pass cloture, which requires 60 votes.
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SomethingFishy Donating Member (552 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. UH YES! What they did was change the rules so you
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 03:46 PM by SomethingFishy
didn't need to filibuster. All you need is the 60 votes for cloture to dismiss any filibuster. That is not filibustering, it's changing the fucking rules... To sit there and say that Republicans had to stand before the American people and explain WHY they were voting against something is a crock of shit. They don't filibuster anymore.

And if they do please give me a link to the speeches the Republicans made during their FIlibuster. And don't send me a single thing about cloture. Cloture is not filibustering it's circumventing the rules.

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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. this is a semantic difference -
The fact is preventing cloture does prevent an issue going forward - something that the type of fillibuster you speak of used to accomplish, while tying up the Senate. The rules changed - for the first time in 1917 - I suspect before everyone on this board was born. Then a second change reduced the number from 67 to 60.

Cloture IS what is in the rules - Just because you disagree with the rules, does not mean they disappeared.

The fact is that you consider that Bernie Sanders held a one man filibuster, Although he spoke for hours on end - and made a lot of sense, it did NOT stop or even slow the Senate. The Republicans, on the other hand have prevented many bills from even opening discussion! The Senate calls that a filibuster.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
31. Do you have any evidence for your claim? nt
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
7. The only one who has actually Fillibustered anything was not a Republican or Democrat
Bernie.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. No the Republicans filibustered many things in the last several years -
and the democrats a much smaller number. Sanders spoke for a long time, but did not really filibuster.
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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. I dont think there has been an actual filibuster since Mr Smith left Washington.
They dont that anymore for practical reasons.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Democrats forced a traditional Republican filibuster to pass an unemployment extension on March 2010
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 01:31 PM by Better Believe It
Democrats May Force All-Night Session
By John Stanton
March 2, 2010


Democrats are hoping to turn the procedural tables on Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) and use Senate rules to break his blockade against an extension of unemployment insurance, including possibly forcing a round-the-clock session.

Although no final decisions have been made, Democrats confirmed it is increasingly likely that Democrats will force Bunning into an actual filibuster of unemployment insurance extension Tuesday night by repeatedly offering up unanimous consent agreements to bring the bill to a vote.

Although Members often threaten actual filibusters, they rarely materialize. Instead, lawmakers tend to rely on Cadillac filibusters, essentially stalling procedures that can be used to block legislation without having to actually stay put on the Senate floor.

Democrats on Tuesday signaled they have the resolve to remain in session throughout the night to force Bunning to abandon his cause. The American people want an end to these games. And I hope that today well see the end. If we dont, were going to have to have a long, long night ahead of us to make the point that its wrong for one Senator to stop our people, our American people, from getting the help they deserve, Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Tuesday.

http://www.rollcall.com/news/-43730-1.html

Dems likely to force Bunning to stay on floor to filibuster
by Jed Lewiso
DailyKos.com
March 2, 2010


If Jim Bunning wants to continue his filibuster against the extension of emergency unemployment benefits, Senate Democrats increasingly likely to force him to stay on the floor -- all night, if necessary -- to carry it out.

According to Roll Call, Republicans are demanding Democrats hold three separate votes on so-called "pay-fors" in order to win Bunning's agreement on the unemployment benefits extension. Each "pay-for" take money from other programs to pay for the extension. Last week, Democrats agreed to one such vote, but today Majority Leader Reid rejected the Republican ransom, saying Democrats would honor their original deal, but that it was unacceptable to shift the goal posts just to score political points on the backs of unemployed American workers.

A side note: a few hours earlier today, Fox claimed that Bunning's filibuster had been resolved. Maybe that report was Fair & Balanced, but it wasn't right. But now that Democrats are making it clear that Bunning is going to have to actually stay on the floor round-the-clock to conduct his filibuster, hopefully we'll see some actual progress.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/03/02/842314/-Dems-likely-to-force-Bunning-to-stay-on-floor-to-filibuster

Dick Durbin: Let GOP filibuster
By MANU RAJU
March 4, 2010


Senate Democrats may be ready to actually make Republicans carry out filibusters.

Basking in their political victory over Sen. Jim Bunnings (R-Ky.) blockade of an extension of unemployment insurance, Democrats say that they may force Republicans to talk endlessly on the floor in the months leading up to Novembers elections.

For months, House Democrats and liberal activists have implored Senate Democrats to let filibusters unfold over hours on the Senate floor, rather than try disposing of Senate business with cloture votes and unanimous consent requests.

In the past, Democrats have hesitated to employ the tactic, fearing that it would serve only to bottle up the agenda further and create even worse perceptions of the Democratic-led Congress. Instead, when Republicans have threatened to filibuster, Democrats pull the legislation from the floor if they lack the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

Read the full article at:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/33920.html
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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Not quite the same thing as reading a cookbook for 2 days.
but I guess its still a kind of filibuster.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. Niether do.
To actually filibuster something in today's Senate, you need 41 votes. No matter if you are Republican or Democrst. There are some procedural things Wyden can do on his own, but he can't actually stop the bill from coming to the floor - This is designed to draw attention to the bad things in the bill.

By the way, many liberal Democrats are co-sponsors of the Senate version.

Print Subscribe Share/Save

S.968
Latest Title: Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011
Sponsor: Sen Leahy, Patrick J. (introduced 5/12/2011) Cosponsors (39)
Related Bills: H.R.3261
Latest Major Action: 7/22/2011 By Senator Leahy from Committee on the Judiciary filed written report. Report No. 112-39.
Senate Reports: 112-39 COSPONSORS(39), ALPHABETICAL : (Sort: by date)

Sen Alexander, Lamar - 5/25/2011
Sen Ayotte, Kelly - 6/27/2011
Sen Bennet, Michael F. - 7/25/2011
Sen Bingaman, Jeff - 10/19/2011
Sen Blumenthal, Richard - 5/12/2011
Sen Blunt, Roy - 5/23/2011
Sen Boozman, John - 6/15/2011
Sen Brown, Sherrod - 10/20/2011
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. - 7/13/2011
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. - 9/7/2011
Sen Chambliss, Saxby - 11/2/2011
Sen Cochran, Thad - 6/23/2011
Sen Coons, Christopher A. - 5/12/2011
Sen Corker, Bob - 6/9/2011
Sen Durbin, Richard - 6/30/2011
Sen Enzi, Michael B. - 9/7/2011
Sen Feinstein, Dianne - 5/12/2011
Sen Franken, Al - 5/12/2011
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. - 5/26/2011
Sen Graham, Lindsey - 5/12/2011
Sen Grassley, Chuck - 5/12/2011
Sen Hagan, Kay - 7/5/2011
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. - 5/12/2011
Sen Isakson, Johnny - 11/2/2011
Sen Johnson, Tim - 10/3/2011
Sen Klobuchar, Amy - 5/12/2011
Sen Kohl, Herb - 5/12/2011
Sen Landrieu, Mary L. - 10/17/2011
Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. - 7/7/2011
Sen McCain, John - 7/26/2011
Sen Menendez, Robert - 10/31/2011
Sen Nelson, Bill - 9/23/2011
Sen Risch, James E. - 11/7/2011
Sen Rubio, Marco - 5/26/2011
Sen Schumer, Charles E. - 5/12/2011
Sen Shaheen, Jeanne - 6/30/2011
Sen Udall, Tom - 7/7/2011
Sen Vitter, David - 11/7/2011
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon - 5/12/2011Sen Moran, Jerry - 6/23/2011(withdrawn - 6/27/2011)
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Not really. To filibuster anything in the Senate you need at least one Senator to filibuster.

I think you're confusing an actual Senate floor filibuster with Reid's "two track Senate debate" and "procedural filibuster" rules which requires 60 votes to "end debate" and proceed to an up and down vote.

Real Senate filibusters can't be stopped and must continue until those holding the Senate floor with their filibuster end their filibuster!

It's really not very complicated at all.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Not really - the rules changed
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 02:24 PM by karynnj
http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Filibuster_Cloture.htm

Yes I KNOW that various Senators said they would filibuster - like Dodd versus FISA and Sanders, and Wyden here. Note that since 1917, there have been ways to end debate.

I am against this bill and even more against the House bill, but with the House able to pass Republican bills easily and this bill having 39 cosponsors, it doesn't look good. (You can't assume everyone not sponsoring it, is against it.)

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. So what prohibits one or more Senators from filibustering on the Senate floor?

And what Senate rule prohibits a single Senator from placing on hold on legislation?
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. The fact that they can file a cloture motion which after a specified
period of time forces a vote. If there are 60 votes, debate is ended and they move to the vote - as said in the link.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. As I understand they can file a motion during a procedural filibuster but the Senate can't act on ..

a cloture motion until after a real filibuster is concluded.

Can you cite any examples of where such real "on the floor" Senate filibusters have been stopped by filing a simple cloture motion?
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Has there been a "real filibuster" that lasted the 30 hours needed
between filing for cloture and the vote? You don't have an example either. If you have one, I will gladly conceded I am wrong.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. That's because Senate Democrats don't engage in real filibusters beyond 30 hours even when they can.
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 07:34 PM by Better Believe It
So if a Democrat or group of Democratic Senators filibustered and refused to stop speaking after 30 hours would Senator Reid have them gagged or order capital cops to remove them kicking and screaming from the Senate floor?

Let's get serious and realistic now.

If Senate Democrats wanted to engage in a real filibuster to prevent reactionary legislation such as this bill from being passed they could easily do that. And Senator Reid would be powerless to gag them or remove them from the Senate floor should they refuse to stop their filibuster .... unless he wants to create a major scandal and conflict with conservatives in the Democratic Party.

That's the reality.

But, Democrats don't filibuster so it will not be tested by Senate Democrats.

However, Democrats will certainly try to give up the right to engage in any kind of a filibuster, including a bogus procedural filibuster, should the Republicans formally win control of the Senate after the 2012 elections.

Senate Democrats give up their right to filibuster Bush's nominations to the Supreme Court in 2005. Do you remember that disgraceful deal they made with Republicans? I fully expect a rerun of that cowardly act in 2013 should the Republicans have a majority in the Senate.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. What you describe as a "real filibuster" hasn't existed for more than 40 years.
Please educate yourself.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
14. Because our freedom loving president will veto it...won't he?
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
16. It's a new mystery of the ages /nt
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. It's all very mysterious how some rules that apply to Democrats don't apply to Republicans.

I guess we just aren't smart enough to understand these Senate rules.
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tritsofme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
28. They don't. You are engaging in obfuscation.
If this bill does not have 60 votes for cloture, it will fail just like any other bill.

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Thanks for your simplistic clarity. Too bad it has nothing to do with Senator Wyden's filibuster.

That's the subject which is being discussed in case you didn't notice.

So do you think Senator Wyden is lying when he says he'll engage in a Senate floor filibuster?

Wyden is not proposing to engage in a fake "procedural filibuster" of the kind Republicans are famous for in their obstructionist operation.
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tritsofme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. Wyden is drawing attention to himself and his cause.
Edited on Thu Nov-24-11 12:15 PM by tritsofme
He is trying to discourage Reid from filing for cloture, because he knows that it would pass at this point. Perhaps he will be successful, but it is really more of a PR move.

If Wyden could win a cloture vote, he wouldn't be resorting to this sort of tactic. I just don't see what is so spectacular about this episode.
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