End Run: Wisconsin GOP Could Put Collective Bargaining Piece in Non-Fiscal Bill

By: Monday February 21, 2011 12:35 pm

The State Senate in Wisconsin plans to meet today, and take up items of a non-fiscal nature. Budget bills require a 3/5 quorum of the State Senate, but non-budget bills do not. So the Republican majority can operate on those bills if they so chose.


Filibuster Reform Coalition Creaking with a Week to Go

By: Tuesday January 18, 2011 7:54 am

A week from today, the Senate will reconvene, and the first item of business will be how to deal with the rules for the 112th Congress. Three Senators – Tom Udall, Jeff Merkley and Tom Harkin – will spearhead an effort to change the Senate rules that would attempt to achieve two goals – 1) make it faster to complete legislation and confirmations on which there is broad agreement, and 2) make it harder for obstructionists to carry out filibusters, or at least to make it opaque who is doing the filibustering and why.

Senate Rules Reform Package Taking Shape

By: Thursday December 30, 2010 9:50 am

When I spoke with Jeff Merkley a couple weeks ago about Senate rules reform, he conceded that the Democratic caucus would have to arrive at a consensus set of rules before they would be able to hold together as a caucus and use the Constitutional option to change the rules by majority vote on January 5, the first day of the new Congress. That consensus has begun to take hold, and it comes in three parts, according to Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), who is leading the effort.

Sen. Merkley Leads Drive Toward Senate Rules Reform

By: Saturday December 18, 2010 4:00 pm

Right now, the biggest date on the Senate calendar is January 5. Pressure will have to be put on the Democrats in Congress to change the rules and make the chamber more functional. As for what members need the most pressure, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) chuckled. “I’m sure in general that will become known.”

DeMint Caves, Won’t Force Reading of New START

By: Wednesday December 15, 2010 6:00 pm

Jim DeMint decided against forcing a reading of the new START treaty on the floor of the Senate. He’s hilariously trying to spin this as a victory because Harry Reid delayed the opening of the debate one day.

Democrats Set Date for Senate Rules Reform

By: Wednesday December 15, 2010 1:00 pm

Next year, at the beginning of the next Congress, the Senate has the opportunity to change its rules by a majority vote. Tom Udall has been pushing this all year; he calls it “the Constitutional option.” Udall would ask for a ruling from the chair, probably Joe Biden, to make a ruling on the ability of the Senate to change the rules. If Republicans object, Democrats will move to table their objection, and they only need 51 votes to uphold it. After that, the Senate can rewrite the rules.

Some old-line Democrats have been wary of this approach, but you get the sense that they are completely fed up with how the Senate operates. So they have set a date – January 5 – to attempt to change the rules.

Stupak is Back: What’s an Enrollment Corrections Bill?

By: Friday March 19, 2010 8:45 pm

Jane has gone over this, but what Bart Stupak hinted at today has apparently come true. Stupak’s four-page “enrollment corrections” bill will get some sort of vote in the House as part of the overall health care bill.

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