As expected, Senate majority leader, Democrat Harry Reid invoked the “nuclear option” ending filibusters against Obama’s activist judicial nomination.
Speaking on the Senate Filibuster, Reid said,
“Since 1790, the filibuster has been employed hundreds and hundreds of times.
Senators have used it to stand up to popular presidents. To block legislation. And yes – even to stall executive nominees.
The roots of the filibuster can be found in the Constitution and in the Senate rules.
Mr. President, the filibuster is a critical tool in keeping the majority in check. This central fact has been acknowledged and even praised by Senators from both parties.
In 1985, Senators from rural states used the filibuster to force Congress to address a major crisis in which thousands of farmers were on the brink of bankruptcy.
In 1995, the filibuster was used by Senators to protect the rights of workers to a fair wage and a safe workplace.
Now Mr. President, I will not stand here and say the filibuster has always been used for positive purposes.
Just as it has been used to bring about social change, it was also used to stall progress that this country needed to make. It is often shown that the filibuster was used against Civil Right legislation. But Civil Rights legislation passed – – Civil Rights advocates met the burden.
And it is noteworthy that today the Congressional Black Caucus is opposed to the Nuclear Option.
Mr. President, the right to extended debate is never more important than when one party controls Congress and the White House.
In these cases, the filibuster serves as a check on power and preserves our limited government.
Of course the President would like the power to name anyone he wants to lifetime seats on the Supreme Court and other federal courts.
For 200 years, we’ve had the right to extended debate. It’s not some “procedural gimmick.”
It’s within the vision of the Founding Fathers of our country. They established a government so that no one person – and no single party – could have total control.
Some in this Chamber want to throw out 217 years of Senate history in the quest for absolute power.
They want to do away with Mr. Smith coming to Washington.
They want to do away with the filibuster.
They think they are wiser than our Founding Fathers.
I doubt that’s true.
Oh wait! Oops, my bad, this is from 2005 when Reid and the Democrats were the minority.
It’s different now as they pursue one-party rule under their neo-com mentality.