How can it possibly be bad to have mechanisms in place that slow down Congress?
In the 111th Congress, there were 4059 bills introduced in the Senate, and 6561 bills introduced in the House – resulting in 342 laws enacted.
In the 110th Congress, there were 3741 bills introduced in the Senate, and 7336 bills introduced in the House – resulting in 460 laws enacted.
This all the while – gasp – the rules of the Senate require 60 votes to shut off debate before proceeding to a matter or voting on it, often referred to as the filibuster.
So, what’s the problem? Does anyone in America – besides the arrogant Democrats in Congress who have been engaged in an unprecedented power grab since being handed a historic defeat by the American people last November – honestly believe that Congress needs to pass more legislation?
Do a better job? Sure. But MORE? Of course not.
Much is being made of the need to change the rules of the Senate so that it does not take 60 votes at various stages in the legislative process. To have such a threshold is said to be unfair and undemocratic. And, to be sure, I have no doubt that some Republicans believe this would be a good thing so that we have a better shot at upending Obamacare.
But the simple truth is that the only thing standing between us and a non-stop barrage of federal “solutions” to our “problems” is the 60 vote requirement. Even more, eliminating this requirement will create an extremely volatile legislative environment, where even the little deliberation and debate we have today is tossed aside in favor of “doing something.”
You see – when Congress starts saying “we need to do something,” we should all hunker down and pray that they not actually do it. “Doing something” means that Washington amasses more power, federalism and the Constitution are ignored and liberty suffers.
The filibuster, actual (i.e. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) or via voting procedures (i.e. 60 vote threshold), is inherently conservative. The slower that Congress can enact legislation, the less damage it can do.
For those concerned about getting votes to overturn liberalism such as Obamacare – don’t be. We can win that by taking it to the American people. It would be far worse to arm Washington politicians with the ability to pass legislation more easily and to “do more.”