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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Dream Act & Filibuster Abuse

June 19th, 2012

In light of the controversy surrounding the President's recent immigration policy change, it's important to address why the administration was forced to act in the way that it did. Had the DREAM Act come to a vote prior to 2007 it would, in all likelihood, be the law of the land now. Filibuster abuse is the reason it is not.

Via The Center For American Progress
Republicans have transformed the 60 vote majority into the new normal. Ben Frumin and Jason Reif wrote not long ago:
"It's true that there has been a decades-long uptick in the use of cloture filings -- often to overcome filibuster threats -- by whichever party is in the majority, but the best measurement of that trend shows an explosion since Republicans were consigned to minority status after the 2006 election."
If I were a GOP strategist, I would be considering the possibility that retaking the Senate might not be all that it's cracked up to be. Does anyone honestly believe, after the legislative sabotage the GOP has engaged in for the last several years, that the Democrats aren't going to follow their lead and continue to misuse this tactic in the event that the body flips?

Filibuster reform remains the single most important task in returning functionality to this branch. There is no larger institutional threat to representative government today.

Many of the disaffected liberals and progressives grumbling that Obama hasn't accomplished enough of what they expected would be wise to direct their outrage here.

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