When Gridlock Works: Cybersecurity Bill Stuffed, for Now

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 11:06 am

The Senate, unable to come up with a schedule for amendments, blocked the cybersecurity bill today in an outcome that, despite being a result of Republican obstruction, satisfied Internet activists who had been urging a no vote. You can see from the roll call that this was generally a partisan vote. The backstory is that [...]

Senate Surface Transportation Deal Allows Amendments on EPA Boiler Rule, Keystone XL

By: Thursday March 8, 2012 6:56 am

The surface transportation bill, which passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee on a unanimous vote, has been mired on the Senate floor for close to a month. Senate Republicans have filibustered all efforts to wrap up work on the bill, mainly because they sought a series of bumper-sticker amendment votes to [...]

Trade Deals Imperiled as Senate GOP Stages Walkout in Committee

By: Friday July 1, 2011 6:20 am

I thought Mitch McConnell was just grousing about trade adjustment assistance being included in the three trade deals that the President sent to Congress. What I didn’t know is that the White House negotiated directly with House Republicans on the deal, and didn’t really consult the Senate minority. So they’re making mischief out of a [...]

First Post-bin Laden Vote on Afghanistan War Coming on Defense Authorization Bill

By: Friday May 13, 2011 6:10 am

Lawmakers in the House will get their first opportunity soon to vote up or down on continuing the Afghanistan war since the death of Osama bin Laden. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will eventually fund $690 billion for the Pentagon and ongoing war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, passed the House Armed Services [...]

Assembly Dems Meeting with Walker Cabinet Secretary on Alternative Budget Proposal

By: Thursday February 24, 2011 12:22 pm

MADISON, WI (FDL) – The Assembly Democrats have presented an alternative budget proposal and are meeting with the head of the Department of Administration, Mike Huebsch. We’re trying to get a copy of the alternative proposal, but I’m not sure they’ll have any more success with that as they’ve had with their litany of amendments [...]

Health Care Repeal, 1099 Fix Votes Up Today

By: Wednesday February 2, 2011 8:44 am

We should see a vote in the Senate on repealing the Affordable Care Act today, although a decision on how to approach it is still being worked out. Because of the lack of Senate rules reform, any amendment is subject to filibuster as well. However, my understanding is that the amendment on repeal violates the [...]

Reid Vows Open Amendment Process on First Bill of Session; Will McConnell Hold Up His End of the Deal?

By: Monday January 31, 2011 12:18 pm

On a conference call about the FAA Authorization bill, the first substantive legislation to be taken up in the Senate, Harry Reid was asked about the situation in Egypt, and basically toed the Obama Administration line, using much of the same language of the past 24 hours. He said that he’s “deeply concerned” about the [...]

Senate Rules Reform Reaches Inevitable, Unsatisfying Conclusion

By: Thursday January 27, 2011 2:58 pm

The Senate passed two rules reforms and expects to pass a third, while more far-reaching reforms seemed destined to fail. Secret holds were banned by a vote of 92-4. This measure would allow Senators to retain the ability to place a hold on any nomination, legislation, amendment or motion to proceed, requiring a cloture vote [...]

Senate Rules Reform Will Be Tweaked, Some Democrats Nervous About Committing to Changes

By: Wednesday January 19, 2011 7:07 am

Sen. Jeff Merkley acknowledged that one component of the consensus plan on Senate rules reform put together by him, Tom Udall and Tom Harkin would probably get tweaked, and that the biggest concern for skittish Democratic lawmakers was changing the rules at all, lest they be changed on them when Republicans take over. Which is [...]

Republicans Admit They Favor Majority Rule

By: Friday January 7, 2011 11:13 am

Senate Republicans have let it be known that they are pleased by one aspect of the rules reform package put out by three Democrats. In so doing, they basically tipped their hand that they really want a majority-rule chamber. The issue in question is the “Right to Amend” provision of the rules package. Under this [...]

As Democrats Rally for Senate Rules Reform, Will These Changes Matter?

By: Thursday January 6, 2011 6:00 am

The Senate recessed last night, and won’t come back into session until January 25. It’s good to be a Senator. But before they pick back up on what amounts to the same “legislative day,” they will build support for Tom Udall’s Constitutional option to reform the Senate rules. Outside of Ben Nelson, there really isn’t [...]

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