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July 16, 2013

Deal Reached on Filibusters to Avoid Nuclear Option

As I mentioned yesterday, I thought the GOP's highest priority was to keep off the unconstitutionally-appointed members of the NRLB. It looks like the GOP did in fact fight hardest to keep those unconstitutional members off the NRLB, because the deal says they're out.

At the moment, it appears that the deal involves agreeing to hold a confirmation vote for Richard Cordray as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by Dodd-Frank in 2010 but has yet to have a confirmed executive. Barack Obama gave Cordray a recess appointment while the Senate wasn’t actually in recess, angering Republicans who vowed to block Cordray in the next session.

In return, Democrats will only get two confirmation votes for the NLRB, whose recess appointments have been overturned by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. It appears that Reid will ask the White House to choose new appointees rather than try to restore the overturned appointments.

The deal apparently requires the GOP to stipulate, in writing, that they'll confirm Obama's next two NLRB appointments, whoever they are.

Did the GOP cave? Well, they certainly gave a bunch. I guess it depends on if you think Harry Reid was bluffing on the nuclear option -- I sort of think he was. But I don't know that.

I think I agree with Drew's take earlier:

Personally, I don't care if Reid pulls the trigger. In fact I kind of hope he does. The filibuster is not ordained by God nor is required by the Constitution. The republic shall endure without it.

And let's face it, the Republicans aren't going to have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate anytime soon. If you want to dismantle major programs, it's going to be a lot easier to get 50 or 51 votes than 60 ever will be. Sure it will be easier for Democrats to make mischief and put them back in or worse. But honestly, a federal government that alternates between growth and repeal of programs is a lot better than one that grows and...grows.

Yeah I don't know how much I want to fight to keep something I sort of want wiped off the books.

I think Drew might have nailed something interesting and important about this-- the filibuster, by supposedly encouraging moderation and supermajority support on important votes, may actually lock-in the inexorable growth of the state.

Maybe we shouldn't fear the "wild swings" in the Senate the filibuster is designed to ameliorate. The only thing that can really slow down the growth of government is a wild swing to the right.

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posted by Ace at 11:45 AM

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