Senate tied in knots by filibustersHere's how it begins:
Before someone charges in, reminding everyone of the many "Democrat filibusters" when the Republicans ran the Senate, here's something to gnaw on:
This year Senate Republicans are threatening filibusters to block more legislation than ever before, a pattern that's rooted in — and could increase — the pettiness and dysfunction in Congress.
The trend has been evolving for 30 years. The reasons behind it are too complex to pin on one party. But it has been especially pronounced since the Democrats' razor-thin win in last year's election, giving them effectively a 51-49 Senate majority, and the Republicans' exile to the minority.
Nearly 1 in 6 roll-call votes in the Senate this year have been cloture votes. If this pace of blocking legislation continues, this 110th Congress will be on track to roughly triple the previous record number of cloture votes — 58 each in the two Congresses from 1999-2002, according to the Senate Historical Office. [emphasis added]Triple. Not match. Not double. But triple.
Get used to it.