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American Politics, USA |  Beat all records when they occur without interruption for 24 hours.  Now the Democrats are considering abolishing the rule

American Politics, USA | Beat all records when they occur without interruption for 24 hours. Now the Democrats are considering abolishing the rule

Democrats are in open conflict after Republicans once again blocked an important bill with so-called “stall”.


Senate Republicans unanimously refused to let Democrats begin a formal debate on reforming a new electoral law (the People’s Act) in the United States.

Thus, there will also be no Senate vote to pass an election law that has already been passed in the House. Republicans used a tactic called disruption. In short, the stalling technique gives the minority the power to veto the majority.

Obstruction is a special rule that applies only to the Senate. It allows each senator to speak indefinitely, in order to potentially block the bill’s passage, NORCE Research Senior Researcher Hjalmar Meldy tells Nettavisen.

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Former Senator Strom Thurmond holds the record for the longest suspended job. It happened in 1957, when he spoke for 24 hours and 18 minutes to prevent the adoption of the Civil Rights Bill.

– As the rules are, a majority of 60 members of the Senate is required to overturn the moratorium. Such a majority usually gets neither party, says Migildy, because the parties are equal in Congress and there is little cooperation across party dividing lines.

The whole process of considering electoral law reform in the Senate failed in a preparatory vote. Thus the Democrats needed a majority of 60-40 votes to continue the process, which they do not have without the support of the Republicans.

If the Democrats still want to pass the election law as it stands today, they may have to scrap the entire obstruction scheme.

– Yes, I see no other possibility, says consultant at the Civita Research Center, Eric Luke, to Netavizen.

In recent weeks, Senate Republicans have used obstructionism several times to block the passage of Democrats’ bills, including proposals to protect voting rights (election law reform) and create a separate commission to investigate the January 6 congressional attack. Writing Washington Post.

The controversy over the “nuclear option”

It now appears that the disruption rule can put an end to many of the other issues that President Joe Biden has on his political agenda.

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This has bolstered demand from some Democrats to either change or remove the entire Senate obstruction system. This radical solution is referred to as the “nuclear option”.

Democrats need a simple majority to remove the blockage rule, which they would have if all Senate Democrats united behind such a push.

Democrats have 50 seats in the Senate, plus one vote if they use Vice President Kamala Harris, giving the Democrats a simple majority.

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Facts about the file

* Procrastination tactics that prevent the adoption of endless speeches and proposals.

* The word is derived from Dutch and means pirate, and refers to the “kidnapping” of the debate.

* Most national councils have regulations that can stop such stall maneuvers after a certain time.

* Disruption techniques are not allowed in the Norwegian Parliament, where representatives’ speaking time is limited.

* This tactic is better known from the US Senate where senators have unlimited time to speak, and all senators have the right to speak before a motion is adopted.

* Since 1917, the Senate has had the opportunity to decide to stop the debate. However, it requires the support of at least 60 senators.

(Source: NTB, Store Norske Leksikon, Wikipedia)

These days, all focus is on two Democratic senators who are not at all ready to crack down on the disruption scheme, Senator Kirsten Senema and Senator Joe Manchin.

It is the Senate that makes its own rules, and so the Senate can remove the entire scheme by a simple majority. But as long as Joe Manchin doesn’t want to remove the disruption system, it won’t be possible for Democrats to do so. They need 50 votes plus one (Vice President Kamala Harris editor’s note), Lock says.

– If Democrats choose to remove the obstruction rule now, Republicans can reintroduce it when they control the Senate. But they don’t want it when they have a majority, Locke says.

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President Joe Biden is also lukewarm about removing the opt-out rule, and he has yet to make a final official decision.

Nobody has principles

The irony is that many of the Democratic senators who now advocate removing the system were supporters of the stall rule when the Republicans had a majority in the Senate.

None of the parties are particularly principled here. Migildi says they are for the snooze when he serves them, and they don’t talk much about it when they are enjoying it.

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On the left in the United States today, there is pressure on the United States to operate more as a parliamentary system, in which a slim majority is allowed to govern somewhat indefinitely. Because they have this majority in Congress. But the United States is not a parliamentary system, the United States is a Madison system with a strong diffusion of power and strong minority protection. It’s very powerful, some believe, says Mjelde, which is a reasonable argument.

– And vetokrati?

Locke says he understands those arguing for keeping the blockage scheme in the Senate, but he’s not himself a huge supporter of it.

If you are going to curb cultural polarization in the United States and want to make legislative decisions between the parties, stalling will be able to help ensure that. But on the other hand, this is democratically questionable no matter which side you’re on. I’ve never been a fan of procrastination. It’s a bit like Francis Fukuyama (famous American political scientist. Editor’s note) saying that the United States is a do-nothing autocracy. And disabling tools help maintain that, Lucke adds.

The term vetocracy refers to an ineffective system of government in which no entity/group can achieve sufficient power to make decisions or carry out political decisions. Fukuyama’s understanding of the term refers to an excessive ability or desire to veto power within a government system or institution.

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– From a democratic perspective, do the unemployed have a right to life, my birthday?

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The point of view of procrastination depends on the point of view of democracy, which is put to the bottom. The political system and culture in the United States are full of veto power, which can slow down the political process. He says there are three motives for this.

– 1. The idea that only legislation with broad political support should be passed. 2. Slower decision-making leads to better-researched legislation. The narrow majority should not be able to pay the bills at a rapid pace. 3. Protecting the political interests and desires of the minority, says Migildi.

Procrastination is just one of many tools for spreading power in the American political system. Federalism, the bicameral system, the Electoral College, and the special rules of the Senate are other examples, he adds.

Clinton wants to remove the scheme

This week, former President and Democrat Bill Clinton indicated his side in the pending battle within the Democratic Party.

I understand the president’s reluctance to remove him once and for all, and I sympathize with Joe Manchin trying to defend the right and represent those who voted more than 2-to-1 for President Trump. But when it comes to preserving democracy, I think it’s right to stop procrastinating because it’s necessary,” Clinton said in a statement. television interview.

The electoral reform “For the People”, passed by the House of Representatives in March, is about protecting voting rights. The purpose is, among other things, to guarantee the right to apply by vote and to vote by mail.

The election law reform came in response to a number of states introducing new election laws after Trump’s defeat last fall. Critical voices believe that new election laws in some states in practice limit the ability of many Americans to vote.