HuffPost 'Worst Person of the Year': US Senate
Bob Burnett, HuffPost politicsUnfortunately, the Senate doesn't honor majority rule. Senate convention permits any Senator to invoke a "procedural filibuster" to prevent an item from being discussed or voted upon.
Huffington Post pick for Worst Person of the Year is the US Senate
The US Senate, says the Huffington Post, has gone out its way to collapse and reveal its ugly brutality.
Voter approval of the Senate is way down, the report claims, and there is no majority rule honored, only private interests and to hell with the needs of the nation at large.
At the end of a decade marked by a general failure of US leadership, 2009 saw the collapse of the Senate. Confronted with an array of difficult problems, a reactionary Senatorial minority put their personal political interests above those of the nation and blocked action by the progressive majority.
While polls don't differentiate between levels of support for the House of Representatives and the Senate, the long-term trend is down. At the beginning of the decade, fifty percent of Americans approved of the way Congress was handling its job; today the approval level is in the twenties. There's a widespread belief that Washington isn't performing. President Obama gets his share of the blame, but most observers fault Congress, the Senate in particular.
On January 3rd, the 111th US Congress convened with the Democrats in the majority in both the House and Senate. The House operates by majority rule, which has enabled Democrats to move critical legislation at a reasonable pace.
Unfortunately, the Senate doesn't honor majority rule. Senate convention permits any Senator to invoke a "procedural filibuster" to prevent an item from being discussed or voted upon. It takes a "cloture vote" of 60 Senators to move the process forward. In 1993, Senate Republican Minority Leader Bob Dole introduced the modern notion of the procedural filibuster when he persuaded Republican Senators to vote as a block against cloture.
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