Last month’s government shutdown has given a boost to Republicans pushing to change the Senate’s rules to limit minority obstruction.
Their target? The legislative filibuster.
For some members, the funding impasse is just the latest in a series of events underscoring the need to change an iconic, if outdated, feature of the Senate.
As evidence of the broken appropriations process, they point to the fact that Democrats have repeatedly prevented the Senate from taking up individual funding bills in recent years. That is, the minority has filibustered (or threatened to filibuster) the motion to proceed to those bills to extract concessions from the majority on funding levels and policy riders. In the face of such obstruction, they argue, it becomes impossible for the Senate – and, in turn, Congress – to complete its appropriations work in a timely manner.
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Image credit: Steve Heap