CNN wonders if the fighting in Washington reflects the rest of us. I’d say it’s the cause of the mood the rest of us are in.
This snip captures the essence. Or rather, the nonsense.
In the case of the China bill, which has strong bipartisan support, Republicans were frustrated because Democrats blocked them from offering several amendments, including one on the Obama’s jobs bill, which Democrats opposed debating at the time.
Democrats, then, were upset because Republicans refused to give up the jobs amendment and therefore prevented debate on any other amendments.
Then, late Thursday, Democrats surprised Republicans by jamming through a rule change — something that only requires 51 votes — to prevent senators in some situations from moving to suspend the rules and offer amendments.
Democrats said their precedent setting rule change was needed because they feared some Republicans would bottle up passage of the China bill through an endless number of motions to suspend the rules, something Republicans denied.
Reid defended the rule change saying it was aimed at expediting debate, adding that an open-ended amendment process is preferable, but in recent times it had become “a road to nowhere.”
Not sure about the reference to ’recent times’, because they’ve been on that road for longer than that.
The move has created an unease among senators frustrated with getting bills passed in the Senate –the chamber often described as a place where legislation goes to die.
Did we learn this in civics class?
But the intense debate Thursday, one Democratic senator said, was cleansing, like letting off some steam.
“Sometimes you have to do stuff like this – have to have a catharsis of some sort. Just let it rip. The beauty of it was it was all on the Senate floor and carried all over the country. So people saw us at our worst and I saw us at our potential best,” he said.
Two thoughts. Regrettably, even that fiasco wasn’t their worst. And if that’s the Senate at their potential best, we need to convene a constitutional convention to reform our representative republic now.