After six years of obstructing every move that President Obama made, House Republicans are demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlaw all Democratic filibusters.
A growing number of House GOP conservatives are pressuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday to invoke the “nuclear option” and change the chamber’s rules to pass a bill defunding President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
Reps. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said McConnell should change Senate rules, so the House-passed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill, which includes language to revoke Obama’s immigration-related actions, can bypass a Democratic filibuster in the upper chamber.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) also endorsed the idea at a Thursday news conference. He said there’s a “way to change the rules to allow us to move forward” and “take away the ability to filibuster.”
For six years, Republicans touted the virtues of the filibuster. They were outraged when then-Majority Leader Harry Reid modified the filibuster rules so that more of the president’s nominees could be confirmed, but that all changed now that the shoe is on the other foot.
Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans spent years using a variety of techniques to block the Democratic agenda. In 2012, Speaker of the House John Boehner argued that Harry Reid’s threat to reform the filibuster was, “clearly designed to marginalize Senate Republicans and their constituents while greasing the skids for controversial, partisan measures. Any bill that reaches a Republican-led House based on Senate Democrats’ heavy-handed power play would be dead on arrival.”
Now that Republicans are in the majority, their view of the filibuster has changed. Many Republicans are arguing against “obstruction,” which isn’t obstruction at all. Republicans obstructed legislation that they supported for the singular purpose of not letting legislation pass the Senate. In contrast, Senate Democrats are voting against a bill that they wholeheartedly oppose. Senate Democrats will not support the part of the legislation that overturns President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
The Democrats aren’t blocking the legislation in order to deny the Republicans “a win.” They are voting no because they think that it is a bad bill.
The level of hypocrisy is astounding. The filibuster was fine when Democrats were in charge, but now that Republicans are in the majority, the filibuster must go.` The answer isn’t to ban filibusters. The solution is for House Republicans to stop passing bills that will never become law.
House Republicans can’t win, so they are urging Senate Majority Leader McConnell to rig the game.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association