It would take some political will — and some calls holding your elected officials’ feet to the fire — but we might not need Schumer’s Democrats to make this happen.
If we get the wall built while putting Democrats on record as being opposed to it, that’s twice the win for the rest of us, right?
And there just might be a way.
Pelosi and Schumer may think they’ve got us by the short hairs, and can just run out the clock until the Democrat-controlled House rides into town to throw a wrench in the progress we’ve seen so far. Schumer just has to hold the fort until that happens. It’s not about opposing a wall, so much as opposing TRUMP’S wall:
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) December 24, 2018
But what if there’s a way to use procedures to make Democrats S–t or get off the pot and bring the wall funding to a vote?
Daniel Horowitz (Hat-tip, Mark Levin) lays out a case for how it could still happen. But we’d need McConnel to be less of a Turtle, and more like the Cocaine Mitch we saw during the Kavanaugh nomination.
Can we get him to come out and play?
The piece goes into serious detail, basing it on the very tactics to enact Civil Rights legislation without a 60 vote majority.
There is a big misconception that it takes 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate. That is not true. The reality is that the majority party controls the “chair,” aka presiding officer, and the majority gets to rule on motions with simple majority votes. A bill can also be passed with a simple majority, eventually. Where the 60-vote threshold comes into play is only if Democrats choose to hold the floor and continuously engage in debate. To shut off debate without any tedious brinkmanship, yes, it takes 60 votes (or procedural unanimous consent) to proceed to the bill. However, given that this is the end of the line for GOP trifecta control, there is no greater issue than border security, and Democrats will be made to look like the ultimate obstructionists on behalf of illegal aliens and drug cartels, isn’t it worth it to finally force them to engage in a talking filibuster until they relent?
…Senators don’t need unanimous consent to bring up a bill. The lack of unanimous consent or 60 votes doesn’t table a bill. It’s just that opposing senators in the minority can request to be recognized and continuously hold the floor. In recent years, majority parties have never made the minority do that. Sometimes it makes sense to pre-emptively achieve an agreement because the majority just can’t afford to chew up endless days on debate of a single issue. But sometimes there are issues worth fighting for. Either way, this is the end of the line for the 115th Congress.
How do you get Democrats to stop talking? This is where Senate Rule XIX, “the two-speech rule,” comes into play. The rule explicitly prohibits individual senators from speaking “more than twice upon any one question in debate on the same legislative day.” Given that Republicans preside over the chair and control the floor, they can refuse to officially adjourn, opting only to recess temporarily, and keep the Senate in the same legislative day indefinitely. This will ensure that even the Democrats who are willing and able to speak for a long time will eventually be forced to relent.
Source: Conservative Review
Can’t you just imagine the look on HER face when the chair puts her in her place?
No, Mad Maxine, you don’t GET to reclaim your time, if you’re wasting ours. Because it can do that, as the article explains:
This strategy is even stronger in optics than in the raw technicalities. Actually forcing Democrats to publicly hold the floor in such a dramatic and unusual way, particularly on a government funding bill, will make the Democrat speech-givers look like utter fools and obstructionists during Christmas. It’s always conservatives who look bad on funding fights, because Republicans and Trump always pre-emptively surrendered. They never bothered to pass a good bill and dare Democrats to block it. This time, however, they finally passed a good budget bill out of the House. If McConnell would bring it up on the Senate floor and rigorously demand its passage with the president ready to sign it – while Democrats are virtue-signaling like clowns for hours on end in front of the cameras – the optics would be terrible for Democrats.
A committed Republican Party could use control of the chair to grind down Democrats even more while also exposing their radicalism. The chair could enforce a germaneness rule against senators bringing up extraneous matter to the question currently before the Senate, in this case, the House budget bill. Wallner explains the utility of such an approach as follows:
They would be prohibited from using their floor time during the first three hours of session to discuss unrelated issues. On a point of order, the Chair may call the filibustering Senator to order and force the member to take his or her seat. At that point, the member will have thus used one of his or her two speeches. While the Chair’s ruling is subject to appeal, the appeal can be tabled by a simple majority vote.
I would add, in the context of this debate, that forcing them to stay on topic would make Democrats stand before the American people and demonstrate that they are engaging in a Christmas filibuster on behalf of people invading our country with violence.
Source: Conservative Review
This doesn’t even invoke the Nuclear Option that some in the Senate are opposed to.
But what if it’s true that the Republican Senators are as gutless as as some might suppose and won’t play ball?
If push REALLY came to shove, and McConnel drags his feet, Vice President Pence even could be sent by the President to Preside over the Senate, as is Constitutional right.
Would it work?
That depends on whether the Republicans are ready to take a stand for what they claim to believe.
It’s also EXACTLY the reason why we elected Trump in the first place. We’ve let them rope-a-dope our side one time too many. It’s time we took THEM to the mat for a change. We’ll never be in a better position to take a stand than we are right now.
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