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Bridget Johnson

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July 11, 2013 - 4:54 pm

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said any rules change by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to end the filibuster would mean that he “presided over the end of the United States Senate.”

Speaking on the floor, Alexander said the move by Democrats to require a simple majority to end debate on presidential nominees instead of the 60 currently required would undermine the Senate’s constitutional role.

“Most of the Founders of this country didn’t want a king, and they created a system of checks and balances, and they created a Congress. And they created an ability for us to restrain an imperial presidency,” he said. “And that’s what this advice and consent is supposed to do, and we should exercise that.”

“…The advice and consent responsibility of the Senate has gone on since the days this country was founded.”

Reid complained on the floor today that “Republican obstruction has affected nearly every single one of President Obama’s nominees.”

“This obstruction has continued at every level and through creative new methods. Even before President Obama’s nominations reach the Senate floor, Senate Republicans bog them down with unreasonable demands that are designed to be unattainable,” he said. “…The Constitution gives the President the right and the power to choose his team. And it grants the Senate the right to advise and consent. But consistent and unprecedented obstruction by the Republican Caucus has turned ‘advise and consent’ into ‘deny and obstruct.’”

Alexander charged that Reid simply wants “to turn this body into a place where the majority can do whatever it wants to do.”

He also noted that Reid said in his own book, The Good Fight, that changing the filibuster rules would be a “Pandora’s Box” that “simply put, would be the end of the United States Senate.”

“I do not want Senator Reid to have written on his tombstone he presided over the end of the United States Senate,” Alexander said. “Yet, if he does what he’s threatening to do, that would be what he’s remembered for in the history of this country.”

Reid compared the filibustering of nominees to baseball.

“The Major League Baseball season begins in April. Now, imagine Mike Rizzo, the National’s general manager, called up Davey Johnson and said, ‘I know Adam LaRoche is a swell first baseman, a Golden Glover and a classic power hitter. But you can’t play him until June.’ Then Rizzo called up Davey Johnson and said, ‘Sure, Ryan Zimmerman is a great third baseman. He won the Silver Slugger Award. He’s an All-Star and Golden Glover. But you can’t play him until after the All-Star Break. And don’t bother with the bullpen; you can’t use any of your relievers until August,’” the majority leader said. “That is ridiculous, but that’s exactly what Republicans are saying to President Obama.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (4)
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It's really pretty simple. Sure Harry, get rid of the Senate.
Any presidential nominees must go through an IRS examination led by IRS agents of the opposing party.
I mean, if a 3 year + wait for an answer, along with pages of intrusive questionaires by rogue agents, is OK with this Admin, then they wouldn't have a problem having all their nominees go through the same process.
What you say, there's only a few Repub IRS agents? Well, then that just means the backlog will be a little longer.
We're all just citizens, right?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's a simple proposition. If Republican senators don't like President Obama's appointments, then, by all means, they should 'deny and obstruct.' For what other purpose are they there for, as the opposing party? Politics should be adversarial, otherwise why have a two-party system? Look what 'compromise' has gotten the country to so far.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The "end of the US Senate" is fine with me.

Back in the day when senators were appointed by state legislators, the Senate served a purpose. It no longer serves that purpose. It's purpose now is to aggrandize and enrich its members and provide a launch pad for higher office and lucrative post-Senate pursuits. Eliminate the filibuster rule and it becomes nothing more than a rubber stamp for the policies and appointments of whatever party in power.

I once had a modicum of respect for the United States Senate. But that was long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Anyone else remember when the roles were reversed?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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