Alexander: “The Most Dangerous and Consequential Change in the Rules of the Senate Since Thomas Jefferson Wrote Those Rules”

Posted on November 21, 2013

Says “nuclear option” is “Obamacare II… another example of the use of raw partisan political power”

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“The American people, millions of them, are filling out their insurance forms, they’re trying to make the web site work, they're terrified by the fact they may not have insurance by January 1. That’s totally the result of a partisan political power grab in the middle of the night three years ago that put Obamacare into place. This is another example of that. The only cure for that is a referendum next November.” – Lamar Alexander 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, with the support of Senate Democrats, has “written the end of the United States Senate” by using the “nuclear option” to get rid of the filibuster on presidential nominations.

Alexander said the decision to break Senate rules so that it takes only a simple majority – instead of 60 votes under a filibuster – for an up-or-down vote on nominations is “Obamacare II.” He noted that Obamacare was passed on a strictly partisan vote, and that the American people are unhappy with it today.

“This is very simply another partisan political power grab to permit the majority to do whatever it wants to do any time it wants to do it,” Alexander said. “The American people, millions of them, are filling out their insurance forms, they’re trying to make the web site work, they're terrified by the fact they may not have insurance by January 1. That’s totally the result of a partisan political power grab in the middle of the night three years ago that put Obamacare into place. This is another example of that.”

Alexander continued, “The only cure for that is a referendum next November. I deeply regret the action the Democratic majority took today. It is the most dangerous and the most consequential change in the rules of the United States Senate since Thomas Jefferson wrote those rules at the founding of our country.”

Alexander said Democratic Leader Harry Reid has previously warned against getting rid of the filibuster for presidential nominations, because it would lead to getting rid of it for legislation and be “the end of the United States Senate.” The Senate, Alexander said, is supposed to guard against the “tyranny of the majority,” as Alexis de Tocqueville put it, by forcing the majority in the Senate and the president to work with the minority toward a consensus.

 

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