There's a difference between "passing the Senate" and "clearing a Republican filibuster", by @DavidOAtkins

There's a difference between "passing the Senate" and "clearing a Republican filibuster"

by David Atkins

Journalists need to stop saying that bills with at least 51 votes but not 60 votes "don't have the votes to pass the Senate." They do have the votes to pass the Senate. They just don't have the votes to pass a Republican filibuster. Case in point: Immigration reform and The Hill :

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Friday that the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill doesn’t have enough votes to pass the Senate.

The bill won approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee in a 13-5 vote, but Menendez said it lacks the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate — despite the bill's four Republican co-sponsors.

That is simply inaccurate reporting. Accurate reporting would say that immigration reform "lacks the votes to overcome a Republican filibuster in the Senate." Accurate reporting would put the onus on the obstructionist party and on the arcane, anti-democratic rules that allow the obstructionist party to block every piece of legislation it wants to on a whim.

If a bill has 51 votes, it can pass the Senate. It's just that the obstructionist minority is using what should be a desperation tactic as a run-of-the-mill procedure to stop anything positive from getting done. And they're allowed to do it without even having to stand in the well and make speeches laying out their unpopular positions for all the world to see. Journalists covering D.C. shouldn't let the fact that the extreme has become the habitual stop them from reporting the truth.

It's 51 votes to pass. It's 60 votes to clear an obstructionist filibuster.


via Hullabaloo http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/theres-difference-between-passing.html

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