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Saturday, March 5, 2005
It Gets Better…
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 7:47 pm

Bill Hennessey e-mails to note the following from the House of Representatives’ web page: Senate Floor Procedures — Recent Developments in the Senate

At the convening of almost every Congress from 1961 until 1975, attempts were made to reduce the vote required to invoke cloture to three-fifths of Senators present and voting. On most of these occasions, opponents mounted a filibuster against a motion to proceed to consider a measure to change the rule. Supporters attempted to overcome these filibusters by asking the chair to rule that the Senate’s constitutional power to make its rules required it to be able to reach such questions by majority vote. Although they sometimes obtained favorable rulings, they were never able to achieve a change by using this argument.

During this time, several compromise proposals were developed, including: (1) applying the reduced requirement only to appropriation bills and conference reports; (2) reducing the majority required on each successive cloture vote; (3) requiring the needed majority to include a majority of each party; and (4) substituting a requirement of three-fifths of the full Senate (60 votes).

In 1975, this last proposal, originated by then Majority Whip Robert C. Byrd, was adopted for most measures, but the two-thirds requirement was retained to limit debate on measures changing the Senate’s standing rules. In addition, since 1959 motions to proceed to consider rules changes have been debatable even if offered during the “morning hour'’ when other legislative proposals can be brought up without a debatable motion. These provisions are intended to protect Senators against rules changes that might further restrict their prerogatives.

The man has cajones, I’ll give him that. Still, he is an hypocrtical as the day is long.

Filed under: US Politics | |Send TrackBack

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Outside The Beltway linked with Robert Byrd and the Filibuster
PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science » The Constitution and Changing the Rules in the Senate linked with [...] ll back upon. Not only is it true that the filibuster rules have been changed before (and at the behest of Robert Byrd, no less), but there is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees the [...]


  1. Robert Byrd and the Filibuster
    Steven Taylor has been blogging up a storm on the media-appointed Conscience of the Senate, Robert Byrd, and his ever-shifting views on the inviolability of the filibuster. He chronicles the history of the filibuster, and notes the many changes to the…

    Trackback by Outside The Beltway — Sunday, March 6, 2005 @ 9:18 am

  2. I’ve been of two minds on the filibuster issue. On the one hand, I don’t like the idea of changing the parliamentary rules to gain a political advantage. After all, the Republican won’t always be the majority party, and precedent-setting steps like …

    Trackback by QandO — Sunday, March 6, 2005 @ 1:58 pm

  3. […] ll back upon. Not only is it true that the filibuster rules have been changed before (and at the behest of Robert Byrd, no less), but there is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees the […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science » The Constitution and Changing the Rules in the Senate — Sunday, March 6, 2005 @ 2:09 pm

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