Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The other day, Ryan Cooper wrote at the Washington Post's Wonkblog, The filibuster must die. He is absolutely right.
The Septegenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has once again reneged on his agreement with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from earlier this year that tweaked the Senate filibuster rules for executive department nominees, and led to a brief respite from GOP abuse of the filibuster rules for these nominees.
After the Tea-Publicans suffered a humiliating defeat and surrender of their hostage taking strategy on the CR budget and full faith annd credit of the United States, the Septegenarian Ninja Turtle has returned to his old ways of rendering the U.S. Senate a dysfuntional institution incapable of basic governing.
Steve Benen writes, GOP pushes Senate to breaking point:
In July, with Senate Democrats prepared to execute the “nuclear option,” the chamber reached an agreement that calmed the waters.
Indeed, at the time, it seemed like quite a breakthrough for routine
governance – the Senate was allowed to hold confirmation votes, the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was allowed to function, the EPA
was allowed to get a new chief, and the National Labor Relations Board
was allowed to go back to work.
It was nice while it lasted.
Today, after a brief respite in the confirmation wars, Senate Republicans re-embraced mindless obstructionism again. In fact, they did so twice.
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked Rep. Mel Watt’s nomination to serve as one of the nation’s top housing regulators.
The Senate voted 56-42 to end debate on Watt’s (D-N.C.)
nomination to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), but 60
votes were needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
Republicans didn’t have any specific objections to Watt, but since they preferred the current official at FHFA, GOP senators refused
to allow the chamber to vote on Watt’s nomination. It’s the first time in 170 years in which a sitting member of the House lost a confirmation vote in the Senate.
Shortly after blocking a qualified African-American man, Senate Republicans then blocked a qualified woman.
Senate Republicans blocked Democrats attempt to vote on
whether to confirm Patricia Millett as a U.S. Circuit Judge for the D.C.
Circuit, renewing Democratic conversations of possible rule changes.
On Thursday, the Senate voted 55-38 against ending debate on
her nomination. Democrats needed at least 60 votes to overcome the
Again, Republicans had no substantive objections to Millett whatsoever, but simply don’t want President Obama to fill any of the
D.C. Circuit vacancies with anyone.
It’s against this backdrop that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
intends to block a vote on Janet Yellen’s nomination to lead the Federal
Reserve, and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.)
intend to block all confirmation votes altogether until someone pays
attention to their [Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!] conspiracy theories.
Or put another way, Republican obstructionism has once again gotten completely out of control – there is simply no precedent in
American history for tactics like what we’re seeing today – and if
Democrats aren’t considering drastic measures, I’d be very surprised.
This Tea-Publican tyranny of the minority against democratic government must end. As Steve Benen, says, "The status quo, as evidenced today, is a madness. It’s plainly unsustainable."