NVDAILY.COM | Opinion
Posted September 29, 2012 | 6 Comments
Letter to the Editor: The value of filibusters
Dan Flathers in his letter to the editor published in the Northern Virginia Daily on Sept. 20 correctly states that "the filibuster is valued by both parties." But the fact is that since 2001 the filibuster has been valued much more often by Republicans than Democrats.
During the six sessions of Congress between 2001 and 2007 when the Democrats were in the minority in the Senate, the Democrats used the filibuster an average of 34 times per session. In the six sessions of Congress between 2007 and today when the Republicans were in the minority, the Republicans used the filibuster an average of 64 times per session and the current session isn't over yet.
So in the past 12 years, the Republicans have used the filibuster almost twice as often as the Democrats. The Republicans have used the filibuster to kill (among many others) The American Jobs Act, The Disclose Act, The Dream Act and recently The Veterans Jobs Corps Act.
There are two conclusions to be drawn from this record: (1) You can't hold Obama accountable for continued high unemployment because the Republicans have effectively shut down Congress and with it the legislation necessary to implement Obama's economic policies; and (2) Just 41 out of 100 senators can use the filibuster to kill legislation tying Congress in knots. In order to reduce Congressional dysfunction, the Senate needs to change the super majority currently required to pass legislation from 60 votes to say 55 votes so that when one party or the other has a significant majority, that party can pass legislation in support of the policies for which that majority was elected.
Waller H. Wilson, Front Royal