Posted tagged ‘Filibuster’

Auto Bailout Deal Reached…Maybe…

December 10, 2008

According to congressional officials, Democrats in the Congress and the White House have finally finalized a deal to spend $15 billion on emergency loans for struggling U.S. automakers.

From the Associated Press:

The White House did not go quite so far, saying it has made “very good progress.” The measure could see a House vote later Wednesday and be enacted by week’s end.

It would create a government “car czar” to dole out the loans, with the power to force the carmakers into bankruptcy if they didn’t cut quick deals with labor unions, creditors and others to restructure their businesses and become viable.

Congressional Republicans, left out of negotiations on the package, are expressing grave reservations and may seek to block it.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., promised to filibuster the measure, which could delay a final vote for days.

He said the package has an “ass-backwards” approach to curing what ails the U.S. auto industry.

Nevertheless, Democratic leaders were confident enough that a bill could advance that they set a procedural vote for the House floor later Wednesday. Even still, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader, said in late morning that his side hadn’t seen the measure yet and wouldn’t agree to votes on the measure Wednesday.

“Republicans will not allow taxpayers to subsidize failure,” McConnell said, although he added that the auto situation would be addressed by the end of the week.

The congressional officials revealed agreement on a bill only on grounds of anonymity because the deal has not been formally announced.

60: The Magic Number for Democrats in the US Senate

October 27, 2008

60. It was once the record number of Home Runs hit by Babe Ruth before Roger Maris surpassed his total in 1961. Now, 60 has an entirely different meaning. The Democrats’ chances of getting 60 seats in the Senate next week has lately become a hot talking point for Republican candidates because of what that magic number means. 60 seats would give the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority that could mean relatively smooth passage of Democratic legislation and appointments.

From the MSNBC:

The Democrats now have 51 seats, but they seem likely to gain a half dozen seats, and perhaps more, on Election Day.

With Republican-held seats seeming to be in jeopardy, such as that of Sen. Saxby Chambliss here in Georgia, you’re bound to hear the number 60 a lot more in the days remaining until Election Day.

Under the Senate’s rules, any bill or presidential nomination can be debated — and debated and debated, until every senator has had his or her say on the matter.

That is the filibuster.

Some tax changes can be legislated with fewer than 60 votes through a budget process called “reconciliation,” but most of the next president’s initiatives and all of his nominations must get 60 votes to survive.