Barney Frank Agrees With Evan Bayh

Barney Frank agrees with Evan Bayh that the climate in the Congress is not operating as it should and that there is too much partisanship. Frank thinks it would be better if Senator Bayh stays on and helps to end the filibuster, a procedure that allows bills to be stalled or killed.

Both parties have used the filibuster and both have threatened to kill it in order to pass their agendas. The filibuster is only good when one is in the minority and bad when one is in the majority. Minorities love using it.

The filibuster is a thorn in the side of the majority because invoking it requires a 3/5 (60 vote) cloture to end it. This means that each time the filibuster is used it requires more than a simple majority to get things passed.

The Constitution describes a quorum as a majority of a particular chamber present. This suggests that a majority is all that is needed to conduct business and to get things done. However, the Constitution also allows each chamber to make its own rules and the rules of the Senate allow for the filibuster and requires 3/5 to end it. They can change those rules but that would require 2/3 (67 votes) to vote for the change. It is unlikely that the Senate could get 67 people to vote on ending the filibuster as a rule change.

If Democrats were to succeed then it is likely they would ask for the filibuster in the future and would want a rule change to get it. Remember, the minority party loves the filibuster. If they could get 67 votes they might get satisfaction now but regret it later when a Republican Congress and President could do what it wanted with no opposition from Democrats.

Another option is the Nuclear or Constitutional option. This is a procedure where the filibuster is declared unconstitutional and then must be voted on. In order to pass, a simple majority of 51 votes is needed. In other words, the Democrats could declare the filibuster unconstitutional and then use 51 votes to end it (Republicans do not have enough votes to stop it).

This is what Bill Frist threatened to do when Bush nominees were being denied an up or down vote. The Democrats threatened to shut down the Senate if Frist invoked the nuclear option. The filibuster was obviously important to them at that time and they were willing to shut down the Senate to keep it.

I am not sure how they could have shut down the Senate but one would have to assume the Republicans could do the same thing.

If the Democrats declare the filibuster unconstitutional then it would likely be lost forever. How could any Congress later state that it was not unconstitutional after all? Of course, how can they declare it unconstitutional when they have been using it since the mid 1800s?

As for Barney Frank, he is not part of the Senate so his input really matters little since he cannot vote on the Matter. Besides, he has been one of the most partisan people in Congress.

His idea of partisanship is when Republicans do what the Democrats want. Frank has little concern for the ideas of the other side.

I did not like Ted Kennedy but he knew how to broker a deal and to reach across the aisle on occasion. He worked with Republicans and Republicans worked with him to get legislation passed.

Was it always good legislation? No but they did work together.

We do not need to end the filibuster, we need to end the tenure of the people in Congress. It is time to sweep out the people who have been there for way too long.

In the last election the youth of America embraced Barack Obama as young and in tune. They discounted McCain, in part, because of his age and length of service.

It is time they did the same to the people in Congress by embracing younger people who are not career politicians.

Most Americans are not far left or far right. I am conservative on some things and moderate on others. Adam and Darrel, who comment here, are liberal on some things and moderate on others. We can have the debates about policy and what we think is good for America and we can either agree or agree to disagree. In the end we have more in common than not though we differ on how to get to where we need to be as a country (and where we need to be). One thing is certain though, we cannot get anywhere as long as we allow people to take up residence in DC and have decades long careers. We need fresh blood.

Vote for the new person in the primary and then let the parties fight it out in the general election. Let us show them who they work for and let us hold them accountable.

I will not vote for any incumbent in November. I urge everyone else to do the same.

Sources:
CBS News
Breitbart

Big Dog

Gunline

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6 Responses to “Barney Frank Agrees With Evan Bayh”

  1. Darrel says:

    Bigd: “Both parties have used the filibuster and both have threatened to kill it in order to pass their agendas.”>>

    DAR
    But times have changed. I highly recommend this article which goes through this in detail:

    How the Filibuster Changed and Brought Tyranny of the Minority

    By Robert Schlesinger
    Posted January 25, 2010

    US News and World Report

    See also this chart here.

    D.

    • Blake says:

      D, you talk about tyranny of the minority- that is what Bush had to contend with even when he “had majorities” in both houses, because he didn’t have “super- majorities” as the Dems did- and still they can’t get anything passed, possibly because their legislation stinks like a dead skunk in the middle of the road- sometimes the filibuster is needed to slow down the process, but it does not stop the process altogether- only sanity can do that, and there’s precious little of that in Washington, and NONE in the White House.