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The Republican minority blocked several of President Obama’s judicial-court nominees, Senator Harry Reid on November 21, 2013 invoked the so-called “Nuclear” option and changed a 200 year hallowed Senate rule ๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ

November 22, 2013

โ˜… What Happened with the Filibuster. The Republican minority blocked several of President Obama’s judicial-court nominees, Senator Harry Reid on November 21, 2013 invoked the so-called "Nuclear" option and changed a 200 year hallowed Senate rule, meaning a simple majority vote will suffice for all nominees except for the Supreme Court, a rule that was implemented almost since the inception of the Country, over some 220 years ago.

โ˜… Why Democrats took this Historical Adverse Action. As of March 2013, President Barack Obama has nominated over two hundred individuals for federal judgeships. Of these nominations, Congress confirmed 181 judgeships (173 during 111th & 112th Congresses and 9 during the 113th Congress. Of the outstanding 87 Court Vacancies, 25 Nominees were pending Congressional review and 62 were awaiting Presidential nomination.

โ˜… Our youth, and those under 50, are becoming very concerned with our Government’s leadership, not being truthful, particularly with the promise of ObamaCare… "…if you like your Health Care Insurance you can keep it, Period. (With no ifs ands or buts.) and… if you like your Doctor you can keep your Doctor, Period. I guarantee it…" so said President Obama with his speeches selling ObamaCare to the Public.

โ˜… 42 Months after the passage of ObamaCare, with the LAW being implemented, with over 5.5 million Americans receiving Health Insurance Policy Cancellations, dictated by the Law directly, as subsequent Regulation virtually eliminated any chance of the "Grand Fathering" of existing Health Care Policies. As of the 3rd week of November, 2013 there have been 5,518,000 American Families that have received Policy Cancellations due to ObamaCare.

โ˜… For all Americans, the failure of the
โœ”ObamaCare Web-Site is just the "tip of the proverbial Iceberg" as the failure the simple registration of Folks looking in the Web-Pages, after taking
โœ” 3 years to develop a WebSite that doesn’t work, at a
โœ” ObamaCare WebSite Cost taxpayers over $600 million, is frightening start. Turn the Page forward a few months, how will the GOV be able to
โœ” Dispense Health Care
โœ” Approve a Medical Bill, if the GOV system cannot even take preliminary Registrations. These failures also include that
โœ”ObamaCare Policies have Monthly Premiums that are about 80% higher than their plans, the
โœ” ObamaCare Co-Pays for Doctor Visits are increasing 400%, from a $25/visit to $100/visit, the
โœ” ObamaCare Deductibles are increased from say $1000/year to over $4000/year.

โ˜… Contradiction with the Facts. Seemingly, the Obama Administration could hardly complain about political partisanship when 62 of the 87 present judicial vacancies, over 71% of them, have not even been named nor nominated by the president.

โ˜… Republican Senate Minority Reaction. This "is a false fight" is likely the reason that Senate Minority Leader, McConnell stated publicly that this sudden, significant, and historic "Rule Change," that was in effect for several hundred years, was in effort to divert attention away from the devastation affecting over 5 million American with the "roll-out" of ObamaCare. And in 2014, another 50 million American will also loose their existing Group Policies in compliance with the ObamaCare Law.

โ˜… Editorial Remark. In the next weeks and months, notice the Administration’s Talking points used to refer to the ObamaCare act, this will suddenly change to the "Affordable Healthcare Act" a seeming paradox in its the face, as
(A) ObamaCare is Not Affordable (because for Millions of Americans monthly premiums are increasing by 80% or more, coupled with increased deductibles like to $4000/year or more, increased co-Pays from say $35/Doctor visit to $100/visit, decreased or elimination of access to Your Doctors, Cancellation of your chosen Insurance Plans, the reverse of which was promised by Obama since 2010, and
(B) ObamaCare has little to do with Health Care, other than destroying one of the best Health Care systems in the world, albeit the system it could be improved, without the total destruction of the delivery-system, and patient-doctor relationships.

โ˜… Current Problem. As of July 30, 2012, six of the filibusters have been brought to a cloture vote. Three cloture votes were successful in breaking the filibusters, while the cloture votes on the nominations of Goodwin Liu, Caitlin Halligan and Robert E. Bacharach failed.

โ˜… Many of the nominations expired with the adjournment of the 111th Congress, but all were renominated in the 112th Congress with the exception of Robert Chatigny. NPR commented on the pattern of delay for certain nominees in an August 4, 2011 article, stating that "Some of the longest waiting nominees, Louis Butler of Wisconsin, Charles Bernard Day of Maryland and Edward Dumont of Washington happen to be black or openly gay".

โ˜… The nominations of Day and DuMont were eventually withdrawn. Senator Grassley commented more nominees could have been confirmed had President Obama respected recess appointment precedent by not making recess appointments while the Senate is in session. Although President Obama has never used a recess appointment to appoint a nominee to the federal bench, he had appointed some executive agency officials in January 2012.

โ˜… Invocation of the "Nuclear" Option by the Democrats of the Senate: As a response to the blocking of several of President Obama’s nominees, Sen. Harry Reid on November 21, 2013 invoked the so-called "Nuclear" option by changing the Senate rules; This means with a simple Partisan majority vote of 51 votes of 100, will suffice for all nominees to be confirmed, except for the Supreme Court. This rule was implemented over 220 years ago.

โ˜… This rule-change is referred as being "Nuclear" in that is represents total destruction of "biPartisanship, as there are no incentives to bring over any of the minorities members for a Vote on the matter at hand. In other words the Majority party can pass any such measures with only 51 o their Party Members, eliminating much of the "Debate" that has been considered very important in crafting better decisions and legislation. AND, since this hallowed 200 year-old (Rule 22) has been changed, watch-out, as the Majority Party can now pass other rule changes with only 51 votes of the Majority Party.

โ˜… What is Rule 22? Rule 22 for which this blog is named, is a standing rule of the United States Senate most commonly associated with the filibuster. Standing rules are the collection of procedures that govern the day-to-day operation of a legislative body. Rule 22โ€”officially written Rule XXIIโ€”is best known as the procedure by which a coalition of senators can end debate on the Senate floor. Rule 22 about 100 years ago, initially set the minimum requirement for ending debate at a 2/3rds (generally 67 votes) of those โ€œpresent and voting.โ€ When debate is stopped in this manner it is known formally as enacting โ€œcloture.โ€

โ˜… Some 60 years Later the Senate modified the cloture requirement, lowering the number of Senators needed to End debate to 3/5ths of those โ€œduly chosen and swornโ€ (60 votes generally). Because enacting cloture is the only way to stop a filibuster, and because the minority party "almost always" has the 41 votes to sustain a filibuster in the Senate, Rule 22 is widely considered the most important standing rule in either the House or Senate.

โ˜… Some More History. In the early years of Congress, representatives as well as senators could filibuster. As the House of Representatives grew in numbers, however, revisions to the House rules limited debate. In the smaller Senate, unlimited debate continued on the grounds that any senator should have the right to speak as long as necessary on any issue. In 1841, when the Democratic minority hoped to block a bank bill promoted by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, he threatened to change Senate rules to allow the majority to close debate. Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton rebuked Clay for trying to stifle the Senate’s right to unlimited debate.

โ˜… Three quarters of a century later, in 1917, senators adopted a rule (Rule 22), at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson, that allowed the Senate to end a debate with a two-thirds majority vote, a device known as "cloture." The new Senate rule was first put to the test in 1919, when the Senate invoked cloture to end a filibuster against the Treaty of Versailles. Even with the new cloture rule, filibusters remained an effective means to block legislation, since a two-thirds vote is difficult to obtain.

โ˜… Over the next five decades, the Senate occasionally tried to invoke cloture, but usually failed to gain the necessary two-thirds vote. Filibusters were particularly useful to Southern senators who sought to block civil rights legislation, including anti-lynching legislation, until cloture was invoked after a 60 day filibuster against the Civil Right Act of 1964. In 1975, the Senate reduced the number of votes required for cloture from two-thirds to three-fifths, or 60 of the current one hundred senators.

โ˜… In sum, consider this, it may be that the current Administration’s nominations are just so "far-Left" that consensus and bipartisanship has been very hard to swallow even for moderates in both political parties.

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