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Republicans Seek To Prove That The Senate Is Completely Broken, Again

The Hill is reporting that Republicans are looking to exploit a loophole to obstruct reconciliation measures.

Republicans say they have found a loophole in the budget reconciliation process that could allow them to offer an indefinite number of amendments.

Though it has never been done, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says he’s prepared to test the Senate’s stamina to block the Democrats from using the process to expedite changes to the healthcare bill.

Since the reconciliation process was created in 1974 to allow bills affecting the budget to pass the Senate without the possibility of filibuster, this abuse of the rules has never been attempted. The reconciliation process has been used repeatedly over the decades to pass bills big and small.

Once again this shows how completely and truly broken the Senate is. We live in a Constitutional Democracy and the Constitution clearly states that laws should be passed in the Senate will a simple majority vote, with the Vice President casting a tie breaking vote as need. The rule allowing open debate has been perverted into a tool to shut down governing.

Democrats have wasted an entire year trying to play by arcane rules established by previous Senates, only to be mocked and obstructed by Republicans acting in bad faith at every turn. Republicans have abused almost every single rule well beyond the spirit to bring the Senate to a crawl, preventing it from doing even its basic functions. What Democrats have to show for their efforts to act in a civil manner is sinking poll numbers, an agenda they are unable to pass, important government positions left unfilled, and an opposition party looking for even newer more creative ways to abuse the Senate.

If Harry Reid and the rest of his caucus can’t stand up and say “enough is enough,” they deserve to lose in the 2010 midterms. This level of abuse is unprecedented and should not be tolerated. Reid has the power to call a point of order and with the help of the Chair of the Senate, VP Joe Biden, and fifty members, put an end to this nonsense. Changing the rules mid-session is an extreme measure, but extreme obstructionism calls for extreme solutions.

The American people want our elected officials to get back to governing, instead of this game playing. The Senate exists to serve the American people and pass laws. It does not exist for a hundred grown adults to act like children while accomplishing nothing.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at