Regular Orderby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2013-03-07
REID. Mr. President, my Republican colleagues love to extol the
virtues of regular order. If only we could get back to regular order,
they say, we could function again. Yesterday, we saw both sides of
On the one hand, my Republican colleagues did practice regular order. On the other, they didn't. Let's take the one they didn't.
They demanded a 60-vote threshold for confirmation of a very qualified nominee, Caitlin Halligan, to be United States Court of Appeals Judge for the DC Circuit. Republicans once again hid behind a cloture vote--filibuster, by another term--to prevent a simple up-or- down vote on this important nomination. They took the easy way out.
On the other hand, one Republican Senator did return to regular order. As is his right, he spoke for as long as he was able to speak. And that is a filibuster. After 12 hours standing and talking, this is how Senator Paul ended his filibuster: I would go for another 12 hours to try to break Strom Thurmond's record, but I've discovered there are some limits to filibustering and I'm going to have to take care of one of those in a few minutes here.
Well, I have been involved in a few filibusters, as Rand Paul was yesterday, and what I have learned from my experiences with talking filibusters is this: To succeed, you need strong convictions but also a strong bladder. It is obvious Senator Paul has both.
We should all reflect on what happened yesterday as we proceed with other nominations, including a lot of judicial nominations. This can be a Senate where ideas are debated in full public view and obstruction happens in full public view as well or it can be a Senate where a couple Senators obstruct from behind closed doors without ever coming to the Senate floor.