It’s no wonder that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is so opposed to reforming the filibuster. He’s addicted to it. McConnell just filibustered his own bill to raise the debt ceiling. McConnell, a stalwart Republican from Kentucky was trying to prove that Democrats don’t have the votes to weaken Congress’ authority on the debt limit, which didn’t work out in his favor as they called his bluff, and he ended up filibustering his own bill.
The legislation McConnell filibustered was modeled on a proposal he offered last year.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released the following statement .
“The Senate should pass Senator McConnell’s proposal to give the President the authority to avoid the knock-down, drag-out fight we had over the debt ceiling last year – a fight that caused the first-ever downgrade of this country’s credit, and cost our economy billions. Senator McConnell’s filibuster prevented us from having this vote today, but I will continue to seek an agreement to hold an up-or-down vote on his proposal to avoid another debt ceiling debacle. “After leading three hundred and eighty five filibusters in recent years, Senator McConnell took obstruction to new heights by filibustering his own bill. Republicans’ obstruction and intransigence turned the last debt ceiling fight into a disaster for the middle-class. We should give American families the security of knowing we will never go through such a harmful ordeal again.”
In the 110th Congress of 2007-2008, with Republicans in the minority, there were a record 112 cloture votes. In the current session of Congress – the 111th – for all of 2009 and the first two months of 2010 the number already exceeds 40. The most the filibuster has been used when Democrats were in the minority was 58 times in the 106th Congress of 1999-2000.
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