Harry Reid is teeing up breaking the Senate rules
  • Congress can't afford any more members of Congress named Reid/Reed.
    Former Speaker of the House Thomas B. Reed, (1889-91 and 1895-99), introduced significant procedural changes (the Reed Rules) that helped ensure legislative control by the majority party in the House of Representatives. Now Sen. Harry Reid is teeing up a procedure where he will break the Senate rules in order to deny any filibuster of Presidential nominations.

    Tea Party groups and Occupy Wall Streeters, and all groups and parties in between, share one common theme: your word is your bond. This belief is shared by every politician and every citizen interested in public service. These groups may differ greatly on questions of our debt, foreign policy and social issues, but they cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty. Promise-keeping is the currency used to barter in our bicamerial legislature.

    Theodore Roosevelt made this statement while still the governor of New York on May 12, 1900: “Honesty is not so much a credit as an absolute prerequisite to efficient service to the public.” He went on to say that honesty is “fundamental” to a healthy political life and is dire if our republic is expected to permanently endure.

    This week, the Senate may find out if our republic can endure minus the promises made by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). You see, on Thursday, July 11, 2013, the Senate Democrats plan to meet in a caucus to decide if the Senate leader will use the controversial parliamentary procedure known as the “nuclear option”. The nuclear option is designed to deny any Senator, either in the majority or minority, the right and privilege currently afforded to them under the Senate rules, that is, to endlessly debate presidential nominees. Under the current Senate rules, if a member of the Senate desires to debate a nomination, cloture must be invoked. Cloture requires 60 votes, and once invoked, the cloture rule limits the debate thereafter on that particular nomination.

    Under The Standing Rules of the Senate, in order to amend or change any of the Senate rules, a 67-vote threshold is required. The “Nuclear option” being contemplated, would change that requirement and thereafter allow that the Senate rules could be changed by only needing a simple majority vote, instead of necessary 67-votes. Consequently, this upcoming democratic caucus could have far reaching ramifications and very long lasting effects for minority rights in United States Senate. Another reason that this caucus meeting could change the way the Senate conducts its business is this:

    On January 24, 2013, the Senate Leader said in a colloquy with the Senate Republican Leader that he would not consider any rules change or standing order unless they went through the regular order process, including consideration by the Senate Rules Committee. This colloquy was the foundation upon which the Senate considered and adopted two Senate resolutions making rules changes and changes to the Senate standing orders. This colloquy was the backbone upon which the committee assignments were instituted for the 113th Congress as well as the basis and understanding by which the budgets for all of the Senate committees were adopted. This colloquy represented a deal, negotiated and worked in good faith. Dozens of Senators from both sides of the aisle helped to broker this deal. This colloquy, spoken by the two Senate Leaders, represented their understanding of the deal and their promises for the future as it pertained to changing the Senate rules. In short, this colloquy represented the word of United States Senators.
    Now, some would say that the Senate is struggling to confirm some of the President’s nominees. Whether they are nominations to serve on the NLRB or CFPB, the talk for the Senate Democrats should not be about the nominees or the acronyms. Instead what should be at issue for the Senate democrats to consider in their upcoming caucus is the issue of keeping their word.

    As the Senate democrats meet this week to decide if they are going to initiate what has been dubbed the “nuclear option”, I hope for our enduring republic that a few Theodore Roosevelts are present.

    Elizabeth B. Letchworth is a former United States Senate Secretary for the Majority and Minority for the Senate Republicans.

  • With the character of most of Congress I would not hope for many T Roosevelts however I am praying for enough to stop this nonsence that is tearing the country apart and forcing us to go the way of Rome.
  • It's really sad when our representatives that swear to uphold the constitution and laws are the ones breaking them. Nobody in Washington seems to have the 'constitution' to go against the status quo anymore. The democrats change the rules haphazardly whenever it will give them the upper hand. I'm sure this stuff went on long ago, but now they don't care if people know they're breaking the law.... nobody does anything anyway.
  • Is it any wonder that the approval rating for Congressmen is hovering around 8%. We are the ones that must change things and quit sitting around doing nothing.

    The drama in Washington just points to failure. What do leaders do? What do chief executives do? They lead. Do the job you were sent to Washington to do. LEAD All I have heard is how certain members have hurt the party. Those same members are the only ones looking to what the people want and not the party.

    1. We need a Balanced Budget Amendment.
    2. We need a Super Majority to raise taxes.
    3. Congress will pass nothing that will exclude anyone, especially themselves and other Federal employees from the law.
    4. Once service for an elected or appointed position is over, all perks and compensation will cease.
    5. There will be Term Limits for all Federal Judges and Supreme Court Judges, with a mandatory retirement age of 70.
    6. There will be Term Limits for Congress. Two 5 year terms for Senators and Three 3 year terms for Representatives.
    7. All funds in the Congressional Retirement Fund will be moved into the Social Security system and Congress will participate like all other Americans.
    8. Congress can purchase their own retirement plans just like everyone else.
    9. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise but will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
    10.Congress will lose their health care system and will participate in the same system as everyone else.
    11.All contracts with past and present Congressmen are null and void.
    12. Affordable Health Care Act will be replaced by a law that will be designed by 5 Republicans, 5 Democrats, 5 Business owners large and small, 5 Doctors and Hospital Administrators and 5 Attorneys. In order to expedite this no salaries will be paid till completed.
    13. Immigration reform will be handled in the same manner. 5 Republicans, 5 Democrats, 5 Governors and 5 Attorneys.
    14. All other major decisions will be handled in a like manner.
    15. There will be no more Ear Marks. All Bills will have to stand on their own.

    We have been told what to think and what to do long enough. These are not requests but demands. If you want my vote and many others that believe in America, you will subscribe to the above demands, all of them. My vote will go to people regardless of Party Affiliation, who stand up for what the people want and not what is good for the party. I will vote to elect people to stand up for me and the will of the people and will do everything possible to ensure that our Ruling Class comes to an end.
  • Afonay1: Great layout...... That would solve a lot of problems.. they need to know they're cut from the same cloth as the rest of us. Afonay1 for President!!!! :-)
  • fairandrew, thanks for the complement, but I would probably be assassinated during the first week. Seriously though we all need to act to get better representation in Congress and no longer just vote for a familiar name. The hard part is getting everyone to act or write to get the attention of every thinking person.
  • When all the dust settles Harry Reid is a member of the unethical Democrat party that has put our country in the mess we are in now.

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