Senator Jim Lankford (R, OK) had some thoughts on this in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal. In the main, he was pushing back against the desire of some to get rid of the filibuster, and he offered instead some other corrective actions that are worth considering. In the main, I agree with him on the filibuster; although I believe that the Progressive-Democrats, when (not if) they next become the majority party in the Senate, will get rid of the filibuster altogether, and for the same reason they got rid of the filibuster on judge nominations other than for the Supreme Court: to stop those uppity Republicans from getting in the way.
In the main, I agree with his rules change suggestions, too, but I don’t think they go far enough. As you readers might guess, I have a couple of ideas of my own.
- Get rid of the rule that limits hearings to two hours on days when the Senate has other business to conduct, also. Surely members of the greatest deliberative body can do more than one thing simultaneously.
- Get rid of the filibuster on matters relating to spending and taxing.
That last isn’t to keep the obstructionist Progressive-Democratic Party from getting in the way, even though the present incumbents of that Party have plainly said they won’t work with Republicans on budgeting, debt, funds allocations and spending, or on taxing unless the Republicans agree to do things the Progressive-Democrat way. No, it’s to allow actual budgets and tax programs to be enacted and the debt actually addressed.
There’s a reason American voters chose the majority party to have that majority, and the most important task Congress has is the purse strings of the Federal government. Everything else—everything—flows from that imperative, and if that one isn’t satisfied, nothing else that Congress does that’s more serious than naming a building after someone will matter.