Harry Reid has rewritten the rules for his own team, now what’s going to happen? According to CNN, there are going to be several immediate consequences because of the filibuster reform. Is it going to lessen future conflicts between parties? Nope, not even close. It’s way too easy to see why it looks like a power grab by the Democrats.
1. No more Senate gridlocks …for the Democrats
“First and foremost, eliminating the ability of senators to block most nominations means the majority party — in this case Democrats — can hold votes and approve presidential nominations and appointments more quickly.”
Of course, the Democrats are going to really regret this later if the situation is ever reversed with the Republicans holding the Senate majority.
“This changes everything,” veteran Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona told reporters… He blamed newer Democratic senators who never served as the minority party for pushing the issue, adding: “They succeeded and they will pay a very, very heavy price for it.”
2. Patricia Millett, Robert Wilkins and Cornelia Pillard will most likely get Senate approval now
Previously blocked by the Republicans, these three Obama nominees will most likely fly right through creating “a more liberal-leaning majority” on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
3. Obama gains more power…and so does future Presidents regarding executive-level appointments
“The rule change means that Obama and future presidents will be able to fill Cabinet posts and agency leadership positions more freely so long as their party controls the Senate.
However, if divided government means the president is of a different party than the Senate majority, look for even more obstruction of such appointments in the future.”
That means that Rep. Mel Watt (Federal Housing Finance Agency) and Janet Yellen (Federal Reserve) should have a green-light now. Sen. Paul isn’t thrilled about Yellen.
4. Rules and regulations will be implemented faster but…
“By essentially lubricating the nomination process, the rule change increases the chances of more “Ping Pong politics” in the future, with each new administration undoing regulations and policies of predecessors under the opposite party.”
5. It creates even more potential conflict between Democrats and Republicans
“The Senate rules change applies only to appointments and nominations, not legislation. …However, Republicans warn that the rule change will harm the political relationships between senators of different parties that can lead to bipartisan agreements and cooperation on drafting and passing laws.
“There’s still quite a bit of legislation that goes through the United States Senate, and it’s done on the basis of people’s agreement and work with one another across the aisle,” McCain told CNN on Thursday. “There are going to be difficulties from time to time where cooperation was probably the case in the past and will not be now.”
So, essentially Obama nominees and appointments are going to fly right through for the majority party (grunt) but, ultimately, does the Democratic party really think this going to make things go smoother for them? It sounds like the setup for even more partisan disagreement. For now we’re just going to have to deal with the filibuster reform and who Sen. Paul calls the “dictator of the Senate” and wait for our turn.
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