Republican leaders are working day and night to rewrite the rules of Congress. The GOP hopes it can push through many of its own laws while simultaneously destroying the U.S. Constitution.
Senate Republicans already stopped the use of the filibuster when nominating Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch and House Republicans sidestepped the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office in their rush to repeal Obamacare.
That was only the start as GOP senators are now pushing to dissolve congressional norms as they take on Obamacare with a plan to repeal and replace the act, push through massive tax cuts, and confirm hundreds of federal court judges.
“It is a growing sense among Republican senators, and I’m one of them, that we’ve got to make the Senate functional again,” said Sen. David Perdue of Georgia. He claims Democrats have created a system that “blocked the functioning, legislative branch of our government.”
In reality, Republicans are growing tired of their own inability to pass right-leaning laws despite controlling the White House and Congress.
Not All Republicans Agree With The Current Climate
Not all Republicans appreciate the current atmosphere being created by their own party. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has rejected Trump’s call to permanently end the 60-vote threshold on legislation.
South Dakota Senator John Thune said the atmosphere is changing simply because more lawmakers have “become way more demanding” and want “a sense of closure on these issues more quickly.”
Thune says the 24/7 news cycle has contributed to the problem as Americans become more quickly educated about campaign promises and demand faster results, “people don’t have patience for it anymore,” Thun explains.
Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii sees it differently, “The only time that they win is when they defy the rules.”
In the meantime, Republicans are no longer waiting for the highly respected Congressional Budget Office to grade their bills, instead, holding midnight meetings to ensure they can move quickly with very little if any oversight.
Completing Ignoring Checks And Balances
It gets worse for the average American.
Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah believe the GOP could completely sidestep the Senate parliamentarian, a nonpartisan referee that is in charge of deciding if Obamacare can be repealed under budget reconciliation procedures. They argue that the Senate’s referee could be overruled by Vice President Mike Pence who serves as President of the Senate.
“It’s plain on the text of the statute that it is the vice president who has the authority to make the decision,” Cruz said.
“As former parliamentarian Robert Dove said on national television in 2010 concerning the Obamacare debates, the parliamentarian merely advises, the vice president decides,” he added.
Thankfully, many Republicans believe sidestepping on board Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough is a slippery slope.
Hundreds Of Federal Judges And Trump’s Plan
What might be most scary for the future of America is President Donald Trump’s attempt to institute a ban on the 60-vote filibuster threshold. Trump wants a simple majority which will make it easier for him to pass laws and nominate federal judges.
Trump is facing an unusually high number of vacancies in the federal judiciary, and key GOP senators are considering measures they could enact to stop Democrats from filibustering many of those nominations.
The “Blue-Slip” rule allows any senator to stop proceedings for a judicial candidate from his or her home state simply by not returning a blue slip to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Two judges nominated by the White House earlier this month are Circuit Court judges located in blue states. Those judges are the most likely to face challenged by Democratic leaders who the blue slip rule.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.