Tuesday, July 03, 2012
The Republicans have managed to stop the wheels of government by using the Senate filibuster process on all kinds of bills that they don't like. According to Bloomberg, Common Cause is suing to stop the uncontrolled use of the filibuster. Since the Democrats took over the Senate and the Republicans lost their majority there, the use of the filibuster has gone up to 276 times in 2007-10 from 130 in 2003-06. 84 filibuster motions had been used in this Congress up until May 2012. This has effectively instituted a governing process that requires a super-majority in the Senate, and has made it difficult to the US government to function. Currently it is blocking any progress on the budget process that is leading up to the "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year, when many programs will automatically end or begin unless the Congress takes some action that is currently blocked by the filibuster rule.