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McClintock attacks Reid, wants to change cloture
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 7 years ago on
November 19, 2016

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Rep. Tom McClintock (R-NE Fresno Co./Mariposa) spoke on the House floor on Wednesday, chastising Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) over his attacks on President-elect Donald Trump. He also urged the Senate to re-think its cloture rules. Cloture is a 60-vote threshold to consider voting on a piece of legislation (ie a vote to vote). Otherwise, a Senator can “talk the bill to death” (ie the filibuster).

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Full text from C-SPAN:

MR. SPEAKER, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN OUR 45TH PRESIDENT AND THE 115TH CONGRESS A CLEAR MANDATE TO REVAIVE OUR ECONOMY, SECURE OUR — REVIVE OUR ECONOMY, SECURE OUR BORDERS, RESTORE OUR NATION’S SOVEREIGNTY, REINSTATE OUR BILL OF RIGHTS AND UPHOLD THE RULE OF LAW. MOREOVER, THEY HAVE GIVEN US MAJORITIES IN BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS TO DO SO. THERE’S NO EXCUSE FOR FAILURE. PRESIDENT OBAMA AND SECRETARY CLINTON SET A POSITIVE TAUPE FOR THIS PEACEFUL TRANSITION — SET A POSITIVE TONE FOR THIS PEACEFUL TRANSITION OF POWER. . WE HAVE ALSO HEARD REACTIONARY ELEMENTS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY MAKE A VICIOUS PLEDGE TO THWART THIS MANDATE AND DESTROY THIS PRESIDENT. ONE NEED LOOK NO FURTHER THAN SENATOR REID’S DISGRACEFUL DIATRIBE ON FRIDAY TO REALIZE THAT THESE THREATS FAR EXCEED THE LUNATIC FRINGE NOW VIOLENTLY RIOTING IN OUR STREETS. THEY REACH DIRECTLY INTO THE HALLS OF CONGRESS. TO FULFILL THE MANDATE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WE WILL NEED TO DELIBERATE WISELY AND IN GOOD FAITH WITH ALL SIDES PARTICIPATING IN THE DISCUSSION AND ALL VOICES HEARD. BUT ULTIMATELY THOSE DELIBERATIONS MUST RESULT IN LAWS TO FULFILL THAT MANDATE. THE AGENDA IS DAUNTING AND TIME IS FLEETING. THE GREATEST SINGLE OBSTACLE TO THIS ERA OF REFORM IS THE 60-VOTE THRESHOLD TO INVOKE CLOTURE IN THE SENATE. I URGE THE SENATE TO REFORM IT. GIVEN THE RECORD OF ABUSE OF THIS RULE AND THE AVOWED INTENTIONS OF MANY IN THAT BODY, NOTHING WILL CHANGE LEGISLATIVELY UNLESS THE SENATE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY TAKES ACTION WHEN THEY ORGANIZE IN JANUARY. ALL THE REFORMS THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CALLED FOR AND THAT THE PRESIDENT WILL REQUEST AND THAT THE HOUSE WILL PASS WILL BE STOPPED DEAD IN THE SENATE. I DON’T ARGUE TO ABANDON THIS RULE, BUT RATHER TO RESTORE IT TO ITS ORIGINAL PURPOSE, CLOTURE IS ROOTED IN A SOUND AND ANCIENT PARLIAMENTARY PRINCIPLE THAT AS LONG AS 1/3 OF THE DELIBERATIVE BODY WANTS TO DEBATE AN ISSUE, THAT DEBATE SHOULD CONTINUE. AFTER ALL, A MINORITY EXISTS TO CONVINCE THE MAJORITY TO ITS WAY OF THINKING. THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF DELIBERATION. BUT THIS PRINCIPLE ASSUMES IT IS AN ACTUAL DEBATE WHERE MEMBERS ARE TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER, AND IT REQUIRES THAT THE DEBATE BE GERMANE TO THE QUESTION AT HAND AND THAT IT’S NOT DILATORY. THAT’S HOW CLOTURE STARTED. BUT OVER THE 20TH CENTURY IT DEGENERATED INTO A 60-VOTE ADMINISTRATIVE THRESHOLD JUST TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION. IRONICALLY A PROCEDURE DESIGNED TO PROTECT DEBATE HAS NOW MORPHED INTO A PROCEDURE THAT VERY EFFECTIVELY PREVENTS DEBATE. THE TWO HOUSES OF CONGRESS ARE DESIGNED TO DISAGREE WITH EACH OTHER. BUT ONCE THE HAD SYSTEM BREAKS DOWN. DURING THE LAST SEVERAL CONGRESSES THE HOUSE HAS SENT HUNDREDS OF BILLS, INCLUDING THE APPROPRIATION BILLS THAT FUND THIS GOVERNMENT, TO THE SENATE. BUT INSTEAD OF AMENDING THEIR IDEAS INTO THOSE BILLS OR SENDING US BILLS OF THEIR OWN, THEY SIMPLY REFUSE TO CONSIDER THEM BY A MINORITY DENYING CLOTURE. SOME SENATORS HAVE SAID THIS MECHANISM IS NECESSARY TO PRESERVE COLLEGIAL ATE — COLLEGIALITY AND ENCOURAGE COMPROMISE. HOW CAN YOU HAVE COLLEGIALITY WHEN ONE SIDE SIMPLY REFUSES TO TALK TO THE OTHER. HOW CAN YOU COMPROMISE WHEN THE MATTER TO BE COMPROMISED CANNOT BE TAKEN UP AND DISCUSSED? OTHERS HAVE SAID THAT SINCE MOST LEGISLATION GROWS THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT, IT’S AN EFFECTIVE BREAK ON THAT TENDENCY. WELL, IT’S TRUE THIS RULE EFFECTIVELY BLOCKS BAD LEGISLATION. IT ALSO VERY EFFECTIVELY BLOCKS GOOD LEGISLATION THAT’S NECESSARY TO REVERSE THIS TREND. THE CURRENT CLOTURE RULE PROVIDES A RATCHETING EFFECT THAT LOCKS IN EVERY EXPANSION OF GOVERNMENT OVER THE PAST CENTURY. SOME REPUBLICANS HAVE SAID, WELL, IT’S BEEN MOST USEFUL WHEN THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE MINORITY. I HAVE TO ASK THEM, DO YOU WANT TO BE A SUCCESSFUL MAJORITY OR A SUCCESSFUL MINORITY? YOU CANNOT BE BOTH AS LONG AS CLOTURE EXISTS IN ITS CURRENT FORM. VOTERS ELECTED REPUBLICAN MAJORITIES IN BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS AND THEY EXPECT ACTION. THEY’LL GET IT FROM THE PRESIDENT AND FROM THE HOUSE. BUT IN ORDER FOR THE SENATE TO RISE TO THIS OCCASION, IT MUST REFORM ITS CLOTURE RULE WHEN IT ORGANIZES IN JANUARY. I YIELD

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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