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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Did 60 vote filibuster proof Senate die with Sen. Bryd?

Constitution, Elections, Politics, President Obama, Legislation, United States

Senator Robert Byrd of Virginia died early this morning. He was the longest serving Senator in U.S. history. Most people remember Byrd for his early KKK membership, and as the Charleston Gazette noted, his 14 hour filibuster and vote against the landmark Civil Rights Act in 1964. (By percentage, more Republicans voted for it than Democrats.)

Still, for Democrats, he was a solid liberal vote, and recently, with close votes in the Senate, a much needed vote. When ObamaCare was on the Senate floor, there was concern that Byrd's demise might put the bill in jeopardy.

And that was the first thing I thought of this morning--what will Byrd's vacancy mean to say, Elena Kagan's approval or Cap and Trade's passage? Kagan's hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee start today. If Republicans filibustered, "Democrats would likely have the 60 votes needed to override it," but that was written before Byrd's vacancy. The outcome will probably depend on how quickly these items come up for vote and how soon Virginia replaces Bryd.

Politico answered my question. According to Virginia law, the governor appoints a replacement, and the governor is a Democrat. The article did mention the Financial Reform bill though. It passed both houses but still needs the reconciliation vote. Although Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) did vote for the original bill, he "said he might vote against the version that emerged from the reconciliation of the House and Senate versions because it adds a $19 billion bank tax."

"Should Brown vote no and Byrd is unable to vote, it would leave the bill one vote shy of the 60 needed to close debate and move to final passage." (My emphasis)

I probably didn't agree with Byrd's positions on issues 99% of the time, but I did hand it to him for questioning the Constitutionality of Obama's use of Czars to circumvent the legislative process. He called "President Obama's appointment of White House 'czars' to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch." On that point, we agreed.

We will probably still get Cap and Trade, Kagan, the Finance Bill and more. (November can't come fast enough.) In the meantime, you can't say it won't be interesting.

UPDATE: L.A.Times: Byrd's death could delay financial reform vote 
 

Links: 

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Brookfield7, BetterBrookfield, Vicki McKenna, Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, Randy Melchert, Mark Levin, The Heritage Foundation, CNS News, Breitbart BigGovernment

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