As most of you know, the United States Senate has a cloture rule which requires at least 60 votes to end debate to then vote up or down on the bill itself. It is important to note that the Constitution says nothing about the rules of the Senate, and does not require such a super-majority. The Constitution speaks only to a requirement for such super-majority votes in a few very specific processes, such as amending the Constitution. This is merely a procedure adopted by the Senate itself.
Many times during the Cheney/Bush regime, the Republicans, while in the majority, could not always get the needed 60 votes. Often they threatened the “nuclear option” meaning they’d have a vote to do away with the Senate procedure requiring the cloture vote. Now that the Republicans are no longer in the majority, and the Democrats are attempting to pass legislation by circumventing the requirement, Rethuglicans are all up in arms claiming its some sort of attempt to short-circuit democracy (which I thought had “majority rule” as one of its precepts).
Senators are no longer required to stay on the floor of the Senate speaking to hold the floor in a true filibuster (ala “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”). Given that, should the rule be modified to require a lower threshold for cloture, or eliminated all together? Tell us what you think in our poll.