Frist and the Republican Myth of a Senate Standstill
Senator Bill Frist and the Republicans would have the American people believe that if the nuclear option passes and the Senate rules are changed to prevent filibustering of judges, that the Democrats will bring the Senate to a standstill.
It's simply not true. What will end is the Democrats' deference to the Republicans in setting the legislative agenda.
This morning I had the opportunity to participate in a blogger conference call with Sen. Harry Reid. Here is some of what I learned during the call.
Traditionally, the party in power sets the agenda. So far during this Administration, the Democrats have gone along, and as a result, the Republicans were able to pass bankruptcy reform and their highway and class action bills.
If Frist and the Republicans insist on bringing the nuclear option to a vote and win, the Democrats will no longer allow the Republicans to set the agenda. Using a Senate procedural rule called Rule XIV, the Democrats will introduce their own bills and insist that they be heard and voted upon. Not just any bills, but bills on issues the Democrats care deeply about.
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