Many have asked me about the midterm elections and the now GOP majority Senate. I think a lot of people on both sides of the aisle are going to be disappointed if they expect major changes to take place. Unlike the House of Representatives, the Senate has procedures in place which makes scheduling chaotic at times. Within the rules, delay after delay after delay can occur. Often the only way to “create” time for certain items is to not allow other items onto the Floor where the entire Chamber can become bogged down.
One of the few positives out of the 113th Congress in my opinion was the adoption of the so called nuclear option. Regardless of political party in the majority, the nuclear option should remain in force. Mitch McConnell would not be a hypocrite for continuing the procedure. Despite the hubbub, the nuclear option does not affect legislation or major appointments. It simply limits the amount of time wasted on procedural moves regarding confirmations that have been practically rubber stamped approval for 200+ years.
While I’m personally troubled by “rubber stamping,” the reality is that these nominees are ultimately approved and usually with overwhelming majorities. Filibusters should be limited to questions about specific individuals or legislation. They should not be about making everything as slow as molasses just because we can and heaven forbid something good happening for the country while the other political party is in the White House or the majority.
The link below is a piece from last year which serves as a brief synopsis about what the nuclear option is and is not along with an introduction and sources to better comprehend what is meant by filibuster and cloture. It’s really simple, yet it’s complex, and surprisingly the way the procedures and the Senate has worked has changed throughout the history of the country.