Subverting Majority Rule

Robert Borosage

The Republican obstruction campaign continues. Yesterday, the Republican minority in the Senate filibustered and blocked two measures that had majority support in the House, and bipartisan majority support in the Senate. Republicans continue to filibuster at a pace three times anything ever seen before, in a systematic effort to block popular reforms.

Fifty-six Senators, including six Republicans, supported the resolution offered by Sen. James Webb, D-Va., and Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to guarantee the soldiers fighting in Iraq adequate home rotations. This sensible bill – vital to the mental health and readiness of the soldiers on the front line – was blocked because the remaining Republican senators lined up with their leadership to filibuster it.

Similarly, 56 Senators, including six Republicans, supported the legislation introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Arlen Spector, R-Pa., to restore the fundamental right of court review for those detained under suspicion of terrorism. Once more the will of the bipartisan majority was subverted by the filibuster strategy of a partisan minority.

Republicans are filibustering so many bills that the press has begun to cover this extreme tactic as business as usual.

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