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Republicans musn’t enable Biden’s overspending by waiving PAYGO

  Republicans musn't enable Biden's overspending by waiving PAYGO There’s a palpable chill in the air in Washington this week, and I’m not talking about the weather. © Provided by Washington Examiner I’m talking about the icy forecast of our country’s fiscal stability and the possibility that Republicans could be complicit in creating such treacherous conditions. For months, Republicans gave President Joe Biden’s social spending bill the accurate label: “the Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree.” Republicans, in unison, opposed the $2 trillion spending spree Democrats passed this spring.

“The framers wanted stability in government, not stagnation. In March I wrote about the filibuster that killed the last chance for voting rights reform until the 1960s.

Not part of the Framers ’ original vision, the filibuster was created in 1917. The recent abuse of the filibuster rule means that virtually all Senate business requires 60 of the 100 senators’ votes to proceed. This means a simple majority isn’t enough to advance even the most bipartisan legislation.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) signaled – ambiguously – that she’s thinking again about whether to support efforts to modify the filibuster to allow Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) Freedom to Vote Act to pass in the Senate. In a statement to Politico by her communications director, John LaBombard wrote:

“[Sinema] continues to support the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, to protect the country from repeated radical reversals in federal policy which would cement uncertainty, deepen divisions, and further erode Americans’ confidence in our government. … Senator Sinema has asked those who want to weaken or eliminate the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation which she supports if it would be good for our country to do so …. As Senator Sinema said six months ago, it is time for the Senate to publicly debate its rules, including the filibuster, so senators and all Americans can hear and fully consider such ideas, concerns, and consequences.”

Film Study: Diving into Divine Deablo

  Film Study: Diving into Divine Deablo Breaking down the rookie’s Week 13 performanceDespite his lack of experience, Deablo managed to seize the opportunity and put together an impressive performance. He more than doubled his snap count for the season with 38 and finished one tackle behind Denzel Perryman for the team lead with 11 total takedowns.

filibuster is threatened. The report also describes the problems resulting from the abuse of “holds,” another obstructionist tactic. Most important, the report suggests a plan to change the Senate’s rules at the begin-ning of the next Congress, a plan that presents an opportunity to end the partisan gridlock While the Framers undoubtedly intended for the Senate to be a thoughtful body, they sought to achieve this goal through a variety of structural features meant to facilitate deliberation – such as the Senate’s smaller size, longer terms, older members and egalitarian structure. There is no indication that the

A filibuster or freebooter, in the context of foreign relations, is someone who engages in an (at least nominally) unauthorized military expedition into a foreign country or territory to foment or support

What’s striking about this debate is the presumption that the modern filibuster is constitutional. The Supreme Court is not going to rule on the question, but even the most basic understanding of our constitutional history shows that the filibuster – as it has evolved – is plainly against the design of the Constitution.

That qualification – “as it has evolved” – is critical. We forget that for most of our history, the filibuster did nothing more than slow consideration of a bill in the Senate. That brake was effected through a senator’s willingness to stand on the floor of the Senate and speak. Obviously, the Constitution envisions members of Congress having the right to free debate. It was therefore a clever hack of the Constitution by slavery-lover John C. Calhoun (D-S.C.), 50 years after its framing, to exploit that right to effectively slow the passage of legislation. If securing the right of every senator to speak for as long as they wish would, in the judgment of the body, mean that considering a bill would take too long – given the other work that the Senate had to complete – the consequence of that judgment would be that a bill is not considered any further. Until 1965, the only bills ever effectively stopped in this way were bills related to civil rights. including, to the Senate’s great shame, bills that would have stopped the lynching of African Americans across the American South.

Biden ‘Concerned’ Over Abortion Ruling, But Will It Motivate Him To Expand Supreme Court?

  Biden 'Concerned' Over Abortion Ruling, But Will It Motivate Him To Expand Supreme Court? Biden’s commission didn’t recommend adding new seats to the court, but even if he wanted to, it wouldn’t be easy.”The President is very concerned by the Supreme Court’s decision allowing S.B. 8 to remain in effect,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a Friday press briefing.

Removing the filibuster dramatically expands the ability of a temporary partisan majority to meddle in elections. In a speech last night announcing her about-face on the filibuster (from supporting it while in the minority to opposing it while in the majority), New Hampshire senator Maggie Hassan proclaimed that “we must pass legislation to protect American democracy.” She warned that “if the partisans who are attacking our democracy have their way . . . we’ll see an Election Day that is a charade, just like in countries where democracy doesn’t exist.”

The filibuster ’s supermajority requirement may be undemocratic, but that’s precisely why we have it. Without the filibuster , we would be laboring under a federal government far larger than today’s behemoth. Thanks to the filibuster , senators can occasionally throw a few grains of sand in the ever-grinding wheels of the regulatory and redistributive state. Milton Friedman captured that point when he said, “I just shudder at what would happen to freedom in this country if the government were efficient.”

But the modern filibuster has nothing to do with securing anyone’s right to speak. The modern filibuster simply changes the rules for whether a bill can be considered at all. Except for certain nominations or budget reconciliation, the modern filibuster effectively gives any senator the right to change the requirement for a bill passing the United States Senate. Under the modern filibuster, any senator has the power to require that the bill secure 60 votes to even be considered on the floor of the Senate. That makes the Senate a super-majority deliberative body, rather than a simple majority deliberative body.

Yet this requirement is plainly inconsistent with the Framers’ design. And so, why does anyone think that it’s constitutional for the Senate to enact such a rule? Again, I don’t mean that the Supreme Court will strike them down. There are plenty of reasons the Court does not police the work of the Senate. I mean more simply, why would any senator believe, in good faith, that changing the majority requirement in the Senate was within their constitutional power?

The state of the shrinking Build Back Better Act

  The state of the shrinking Build Back Better Act It’s still quite large, but it’s been compromised down, and more changes lie ahead in the Senate.Much of that comes down to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who expressed skepticism about Build Back Better Wednesday. The bill, he said, would make major changes to three main areas: the tax system, social services, and the energy sector. “We should all be very careful what we do,” Manchin said. “We get any of those wrong, and we’re in trouble.

Why not a musical chairs filibuster or a rock/paper/scissors filibuster ? Or, how about a get-enough-votes-to-outvote-the-other-side filibuster ? Taking filibusters work if the goal is to modify public opinion to get polical movement. But since politicians generally only care about what their donors want, there isn’t really a point. I vote for duck-duck-goose filibuster .

Although the U.S. Constitution makes no mention of filibusters , long-winded Senate speeches became an increasingly common tactic in the 19th century. By 1917 most senators had had enough, agreeing that a vote by a two-thirds majority could end debate. But getting two-thirds of the Senate was hard, so filibusters continued. Notoriously, they were used by Southern senators who sought to block civil rights laws. In 1975, the Senate reduced the requirement for limiting debate to three-fifths of the Senate – currently 60 senators. In that decade, the Senate leadership began agreeing to allow measures that

The Framers of our Constitution knew how to craft a super-majority Constitution. Indeed, the first generation of our Framers did just that. The Articles of Confederation created a super-majority Congress. Most ordinary legislation required a 2/3ds vote to pass. The reasons they did that are exactly the reasons Sinema promotes today: They too believed that a supermajority requirement would foster collaboration and cooperation. They too thought it would avoid wild shifts in critical policy.

But what they and America quickly discovered was that they were completely wrong and that the Articles were a complete flop. No republic can govern itself if ordinary legislation requires a supermajority. And when our Framers debated our Constitution, they self-consciously rejected the idea of a supermajority for ordinary legislation. No doubt there are places in the Constitution where a supermajority is required – 6 to be precise. But beyond those exceptions, the rule of our Constitution is majoritarian.

So the question we should be asking the senators like Sinema, who are trying to recreate our first, and utterly failed constitution, is just this: By what right? Who are you to amend our Constitution? Who are you to betray its fundamental commitment to majoritarianism? The Constitution embeds equality, including equality on the basis of sex. Does any senator have a right to promote a rule that banned women from the Senate, just because they thought it a good idea?

House clears bill to raise debt limit

  House clears bill to raise debt limit The House cleared legislation early Wednesday morning to raise the debt limit through next year’s midterm elections, staving off an unprecedented federal default just in time for the deadline set by the Treasury Department. © iStock mashpee wampanoag native american The bill, which lawmakers passed 221-209, with one Republican voting yes, raises the federal debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion to increase the limit to close to $31 trillion. Congressional leaders say the new level will allow the nation to continue to meet its financial obligations through 2022 and into 2023.

If the senators who support the modern filibuster want to change the Constitution to make the Senate a supermajority chamber, let them propose that amendment, pass it through each house by a 2/3ds vote, and then secure ratification in 3/4ths of the states. But until that happens, there is no justification for hiding behind a plainly anti-constitutional rule. Dean Chemerinsky and Bert Neuborne are right that Vice President Harris could effectively declare the rule unconstitutional – at least so long as she could secure the agreement of 50 members of the Senate. But even without that happening, we all should be asking these founder-wanna-be senators, who made you the architects of our Constitution? And by what right do you get to amend our Constitution, without the people’s say?

Lawrence Lessig is Roy L. Furman Professor of Law & Leadership at Harvard Law School. He is founder of Equal Citizens and Author of “They Don’t Represent Us.”

This content was originally published here.

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