President Joe Biden gave a shaky press conference yesterday. There is no better example than his statements on the filibuster. He flat out contradicted himself, admitted Senate Democrats behaved badly, and was confused about history.
Let’s start with which party abused the filibuster. President Biden stated:
You know, with regard to the filibuster, I believe we should go back to a position on the filibuster that existed just when I came to the United States Senate 120 years ago. And that is that — it used to be required for the filibuster — and I had a card on this; I was going to give you the statistics, but you probably know them — that it used to be that, that from between 1917 to 1971 — the filibuster existed — there was a total of 58 motions to break a filibuster that whole time. Last year alone, there were five times that many. So it’s being abused in a gigantic way.Read more
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has always defended maintaining the legislative filibuster while Republicans were in both the majority and the minority. This is a bipartisan issue which even former-Senators Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have also supported. It should be noted the legislative filibuster is very different from the filibuster used on nominations which was mostly eliminated by then Senate Majority Leader Harry Ried in 2013. (Senator McConnell ended it for Supreme Court nominees in 2017 when Democrats filibustered Justice Neil Gorsuch's nomination.)
However, Sen. Chuck Schumer is flirting to remove this critical democratic process. McConnell is fighting to preserve the legislative filibuster which lets a senator extend debate and requires controversial bills to muster 60 votes to proceed to a final up-or-down vote.Read more
Today, Ed Whelan posted the four big questions in judicial confirmations for 2020 and answers to the four big questions he posed at the beginning of 2019. The first big question is whether a new Supreme Court vacancy will arise.
Although one did not in 2019, he notes that a nominee for a vacancy that arise this year would likely be confirmed "notwithstanding the ruckus the Left will raise." Looking ahead to 2020, he also asks:Read more
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republican Senators have had enough of the obstruction by Senate Democrats led by Chuck Schumer. Here are a few of the numbers:
- Until 1968, cloture had never been required for any nomination. By 1978, it had been required for two (2).
- During the first two years of the last six (6) presidential administrations before President Trump (dating to 1977), 24 total cloture votes had to be held on nominations. The first two years of President Trump’s administration: 128 cloture votes had to be held on nominations.
- These cloture votes are not for “controversial nominees.” The list includes 42 different executive branch positions that were forced to endure cloture votes for the first time ever, including: Assistant Secretaries and Agency General Counsels.