The Grand Obstructionist Party Succeeds in Crippling the Senate.

The Senate Democratic Caucus has posted a lengthy list of GOP actions intended to slow down Senate productivity. Even on bills with wide bipartisan support. Now, does anyone not understand the low approval ratings for Congress?

Republican Whip Senator Trent Lott in a Roll Call article (subscription required) dated April 18, 2007:

“The strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail … so far it’s working for us.”


Senate Republicans have obstructed almost every bill in the Senate – even ones with wide bipartisan support.

So far, in the first half of the first session of the 110th Congress, there have been THIRTEEN cloture votes on motions to proceed – each one wasting days of Senate time. (110th Congress, Roll Call Votes #44, 51, 53, 74, 129, 132, 133, 162, 173, 207, 208, 227, and 228)

In comparison, in the first sessions of the 108th and 109th Congresses combined, there were a total of FOUR cloture votes on motions to proceed.

EIGHT times Republican obstruction tactics slowed critical legislation.

FOUR times Republicans blocked legislation from being debated.

FOUR times Republicans stopped bills from reaching a vote.

TWICE Republicans blocked bills from going to conference.

The specific issues and bills invloved are discussed at the website. Many I was aware of and still there were surprises. Holding up funding for the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the U.S. government’s 15 intelligence agencies and entities, including the CIA, FBI and NSA. Blocking the process of appointing conferees on the 9/11 Commission Recommendations. There you have the GOP strategy for cutting and running from the WOT. Like Bush’s surge, we doubt it is working.

“For weeks, Republican leaders have used procedural maneuvers to delay a debate over Iraq” (The New York Times, 03/27/07)

…and 480 soldiers have lost their lives since the President’s failed surge strategy began. (Department of Defense Casualty Reports)

Who knows how many soldiers injured, maimed or the number of Iraqi civilians dead or injured? I suggest we all keep that DSC site URL and some info cut where we can pull it out and paste when the whining about another do nothing Congess and Senate is turned on. LTE’s might not hurt. The GOP goal is to get a chance at saving the Senate seats up for re-election next year. The votes and actions of those Senators on these issues need some recording.

Senate Republicans are forcing the Senate to waste hours upon hours debating meaningless motions – wasting Congress’ time and the American people’s time.

Also wasting Americans’ 2006 votes. Unfortunately for my boiling blood, environmental issues preclude setting the ac any lower.

Discussion at Think Progress. and The Carpetbagger Report

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4 Responses to The Grand Obstructionist Party Succeeds in Crippling the Senate.

  1. Darrell Prows says:

    Wasn’t “The Nuclear Option” an avenue by majority vote of changing Senate rules to permit invoking cloture by majority vote? If that place is going to stay gridlocked unless and until someone gets a 60/40 majority everything will end up like the immigration legislation. Trying to put together a block of sixty Senators looks like an insurmountable challenge in the present political environment.

  2. Ginny Cotts says:


    This is what informed liberals responding to the whining about the Democratic Senate not getting enough done have been trying to get people to understand.

    Due to that kind of procedural issue, the party in the minority can do a lot more obstructing in the Senate than in the House.

  3. Darrell Prows says:

    The Republicans had a role for the nuclear option. I wonder why the Democrats don’t.

  4. Ginny Cotts says:

    Just found your comment Darrell. The idea of changing that to a simple majority vote was a problem even for the GOP. They knew that going there could easily backfire when the majority switched. They only threatened as far as I recall, never did it. From what I read of the legal opinions at the time, a good thing.