“In reality, we rationalize, we deny, or we couldn’t go on confirming.”Read More
Republicans are helping Democrats slow action on President Trump’s nominees
Republicans make it easier for Democrats to obstructRead More
Last week, President Trump called on Senate Republicans to nuke the filibuster, predicting the chamber's Democrats would not hesitate to do so in the future if their roles were reversed.
While Trump's assertion was intended to goad Republicans into action, it is based on speculation and should thus be viewed with skepticism. Just like in the real world, accurately predicting what will happen in some theoretical future Senate isn't that easy.Read More
President Trump's recent call to abolish the Senate filibuster is misguided and should be ignored.
While his frustration is understandable given the lack of progress Congress has made on reforming healthcare and taxes, heeding the president's call will not move these two important initiatives any closer to becoming law. Instead, it will only make the Senate's current dysfunction worse.Read More
The Senate is broken, but eliminating the filibuster is only likely to exacerbate the underlying causes of the institution’s dysfunction.
This is not the conventional wisdom, of course, which maintains that it’s excessive minority obstruction that makes the Senate unable to pass important legislation. Proponents of this view point to the gridlock that results from the filibuster. And behind it they see ideological and partisan polarization, geographic sorting of the electorate, and the prevalence of special interest money in campaigns.
There is some truth in this diagnosis, for the Senate does suffer from an inability to overcome partisan conflict between its members and thus to clear legislation. In the name of ending gridlock, some would fix the Senate by empowering the majority to pass its agenda by ending the minority’s ability to filibuster. Yet while this might well improve the Senate’s legislative productivity, it would do so by undermining the institution’s ability to perform the other role for which it was created.Read More