The Locker Room

Re: For those of you who love the inside baseball …

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:03 AM

If you enjoyed Ramesh Ponnuru’s recent musings about the potential impact of U.S. Senate rule changes, you might enjoy this passage from a new Atlantic profile of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
“Reporters underestimate how powerful the calendar is,” says Jim Manley, the former communications director for Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate leader. “Say you want to break a filibuster. On Monday, you file cloture on a motion to proceed for a vote on Wednesday. Assuming you get it, your opponents are allowed 30 hours of debate post-cloture on the motion to proceed. That takes you to Friday, and doesn’t cover amendments. The following Monday you file cloture on the bill itself, vote Wednesday, then 30 more hours of debate, and suddenly two weeks have gone by, for something that’s not even controversial.” All of this has slowed Senate business to a crawl.

It’s as if senators are following the motto: “Don’t just do something. Stand there.”

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