Interesting D.C. developments

It’s the first day of a new Congress, a time when the only swearing involves taking the oath of office, instead of, say, hearing House Speaker John Boehner suggest Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid make love to himself. Amid the pomp, circumstance and photos, there were a couple of interesting developments.

The first came at the end of Reid’s opening-day remarks, which contained a jab or two at Boehner for failing to take up Senate-passed legislation. Reid’s election-year promise to take up reform of the Senate filibuster was not forgotten. To wit:

But striving to be more productive will do little if we do not address the major reason for our inefficiency. The Senate is simply not working as it should. That is why, in the last Congress, I made plain that Democrats would do something to fix these issues.

The beginning of a new Congress is customarily a time that the Senate addresses changes to its rules. In the last Congress, Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Tom Harkin and Sheldon Whitehouse made the majority’s case for change. I commend these passionate leaders. They have made compelling arguments for reform.

In recent months, Senators on both sides of the aisle set about trying to broker a compromise. This group was led by Democratic Senator [Carl] Levin and Republican Senator {JohnMcCain. I thank them for their many hours of work and negotiation.

But in the waning weeks of the last Congress, senators were justifiably occupied with other matters, including a resolution of the fiscal cliff. And I believe this matter warrants additional debate during the 113th Congress. Senators deserve additional notice before voting to change Senate rules.

So today I will follow the precedents set in 2005 and again in 2011. We will reserve the right of all senators to propose changes to the Senate rules. And we will explicitly not acquiesce in the carrying over of all the rules from the last Congress. It is my intention that the Senate will recess today, rather than adjourn, to continue the same legislative day, and allow this important rules discussion to continue later this month.

I am confident the Republican leader and I can come to an agreement that allows the Senate to work more efficiently.

Reid’s preferred reform is to retain the concept of the filibuster, but change its execution, so that senators who object to a bill must actually take to the floor and speak continuously until they tire out or until the bill in question is withdrawn. Currently, senators merely have to threaten a filibuster to block a bill, unless the Senate can muster 60 votes to invoke cloture to cut off debating whether there should be a vote on the bill, and actually moving to debate the bill on its merits.

But Reid’s maneuver today postponed a final debate on the new rules until later this month, which can be adopted by a simple majority (which Democrats have). A final compromise may be very different than Reid’s preferred alternative, although the senator’s repeated pledges to do change the rules make it likely that something will be done.

District Court Judge Elissa Cadish, nominated again to the federal bench by President Barack Obama

The second interesting development came in a White House news release, announcing the names of people whom President Obama was recommending to the Senate for federal judgeships. And who should appear on that list but state District Court Judge Elissa Cadish, whose nomination in the last Congress was scuttled by Sen. Dean Heller.

Heller refused to give his consent for the Senate Judiciary Committee to consider Cadish’s nomination, based on a response she gave to a 2008 questionnaire on gun rights. And Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., by policy won’t allow nominations to be considered without the consent of both home-state senators, regardless of political party.

Heller spokeswoman Chandler Smith said via email this afternoon that Heller’s views remain unchanged, which means a continued standoff, for perhaps has long as two years. Cadish’s re-nomination is surely the work of Reid, who pushed hard for her in the last Congress and who has repeatedly hailed her accomplishments and accolades.




5 Responses to “Interesting D.C. developments”

  1. Ed says:

    We are at WAR! (Afghanistan) Anyone verbally attacking Harry Reid (4th in command) should be arrested for treason and given the maximum penalty.

    Dean Heller is opposed to women and minority court nominees because he is a card carrying racist. He has hurt Nevada and should be jailed.

  2. Dave says:

    Gosh, Ed. You managed to make several stupid comments in 2 short paragraphs. First, neither Reid nor the President, nor anyone else is immune from criticism. It’s called the First Amendment. Unless you prefer fascism. Let me ask you this, Ed. Were you as supportive of President Bush — calling for the arrest of anyone who criticized him while America was fighting two wars? No? I didn’t think so. Troll.

    Second, Reid isn’t fourth in line for anything. The Fourth in line for the Presidency is Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. So thanks for also proving you are an idiot.

    Finally, Dean Heller has supported female minorites for the bench in Nevada. Or are you too dumb to have heard of Miranda Du, who is now a federal judge in Nevada.

    So, you are troll. And a stupid one at that. Have a nice day.

  3. Ed says:

    Heller’s house was raided by the DEA and his best freind (a pot grower)Eddie Floyd, had his car seized on Heller’s property.

    Heller supported neo-nazi teaparty elements, that is why he is against blacks and women except for one token twofer

  4. Steve says:

    Guilt by association is a new low, even for liberals. Ed.
    Just curious, is Ed’s last name Hamilton? He is just about as effin crazy.

  5. Ed says:

    Also GOVO.02 Sandoval is a typical person (from sur de Nueva Mexicoke) that eats horse meat from Mexico. He has killed horses and uses them for filly fajitas.