Tag Archives: filibuster

Policy Watch: Lame Duck, and 112th Congress

JESSICA BADER: Most of the discussion of the upcoming lame duck session of Congress has focused on the prospects of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the impending expiration of the Bush tax cuts. While those are both very important issues, there’s a lot more to the waning days of the 111th Congress.

JEFF MORROW: When Congress reconvenes, the House will be Republican and the Senate Democratic. But despite fears of gridlock, divided government can work. Whether this one does will depend on whether Republicans truly own their stake in government or bide their time for 2012. Even if the outlook for a bipartisan breakthrough isn’t very good, there’s at a chance that the 112th Congress won’t be any less effective than the 111th. Continue reading

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The Health Care Victory

JESSICA BADER: Prominent Democrats and Republicans alike are already saying that GOP Congressional candidates will campaign on repealing healthcare reform legislation. It doesn’t surprise me that Democrats would want to campaign on something they can deliver (preventing something that isn’t likely to happen). It shocks me, however, that Republicans would be so eager to play along, to promise their base something they probably can’t deliver so soon after placing a losing bet on their ability to stop a healthcare reform bill from passing.

CHRIS PUMMER: It remains to be seen how much steam conservatives bring with them to the voting booth in 2010 and 2012. Continue reading

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On Health Care and Compromising

JESSICA BADER: There has been a lot about the healthcare reform debate, especially in the Senate, that has frustrated me to no end – the objections by conservative Democrats to even a weakened public option, the immense leverage that a single Senator can have over the entire process, the way that filibusters have gone from a rarity to the norm, the way that opponents of abortion rights have used the debate to impose further restrictions on access to a legal medical procedure – but in the end, I cannot condemn the tactics used by those who have shaped the legislation in ways contrary to what I would like. My basic philosophy of political negotiation is to take what you can get, but up until the take-it-or-leave-it moment fight like hell to narrow the gap between the world as it is and the world as you’d like it to be. That seems to me to be exactly what Ben Nelson did.

HOWARD MEGDAL: It’s never made much sense to me that people find it difficult to sell the idea that elections matter. But clearly, the re-election of Joe Lieberman in 2006 may well have cost Americans an incalculable amount of money, since Ned Lamont was certain to be for a public option. More concretely, Lieberman instead of Lamont has clearly resulted in the inability of those 55-64 to buy into Medicare. These most vulnerable in the health care system were set adrift by Joe Lieberman. Continue reading

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Forcing The Filibuster: Senseless Fun/Political Necessity

Forcing the issue on Republican filibusters is a short-term feel-good move unlikely to produce the result Democrats desire.


The legislative battle over the economic stimulus bill illustrated the contours of what is left of Republican power in Congress.

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