For all those people who wanted a real fillibuster

I’ve heard the complaint about the “procedural filibuster” in the Senate; that the Senate leadership should require actual filibusters…that they should make the filibustering senators actually get up there and talk. Well, that’s going on right now.

The federal program that extends unemployment benefits and COBRA runs out Sunday. So there’s a proposal in the Senate to extend the program for another 30 days, which has general bipartisan support, and will give the Senate more time to work out a more permanent unemployment solution. So, you would assume that this extension would pass easily

Enter Jim Bunning (R-Ky), who’s not happy with the idea. He says that the money for the extension should come out of stimulus funds rather than a new appropriation. So, Bunning is trying to talk the bill out/. He seems to be doing this pretty much as a lone eagle, and he’s not being supported by his caucus on this.

So, I guess the debate is, how long do you think Bunning can keep this up?

Until he yields the floor…or until “cloture” is voted. Need 60 Senators to say “enough is enough.”

8 hours? 20? Maybe he’ll try to beat Strom Thurmond’s record.

Personally, I think he should have his day, especially if he actually uses the time to state this arguments rather than just reading from the phone book.

It’d look great on C-SPAN, and give Americans a glimpse of what the Republicans have been up to for the past year.

This could get really interesting. On the one hand, Bunning is pushing 80, which doesn’t bode well for his endurance. But he seems pissed off and mentally I don’t think he’s all there, so he may surprise people.

Dunno… makes sense to me.

The thing is, everyone but Bunning agrees to the source of the funds.

It seems that Senator Corker of Tennessee is the only Republican willing to back up the filibuster, and has cried foul on actually making someone who wants to filibuster, filibuster:

"“If the attempt tonight is going to be to keep a man 20 years my senior here without the knowledge that this was going to happen…this, in my opinion, is beneath the Senate. And while I might be weary, I will stay here the entire night to defend the Senate and defend the fact that the Senator from Kentucky did not know this was going to happen,” Corker said. " Link.

How dare they make a filibusterer actually TALK! Yet another reason the Dems hate senior citizens.

Actually, the only time the Senate would do what Corker is saying…is if it were evident that the pro side did not have the 60 votes needed for cloture. If those votes are not available…of course the filibuster has to proceed. Otherwise the Senate could be held hostage to one senator on everything!

Corker is out of his mind.

I don’t know. Considering that Bunning is a few ants short of a picnic, an extended soliloquy from him might prove entertaining. Wanna make book on how long he can go before he starts mooing like a cow?

I used to dislike old people a lot, but over the past 40 years, my attitude has improved.

As a person who wants real filibusters rather than procedural 41>59s, I approve of this.

Not to say that I like old people having to stand up and talk for hours on end, but damn, that shows guts. Nuts or not I can appreciate the commitment that’s shown when a man decides to stop a falling rock by standing under it.

(Okay I actually do like seeing old men run themselves into the ground, but that’s only because I’m a sadist.)

He was a Hell of a Pitcher in his day. He should have been satisfied to leave it at that. Just because you pitch like a sumbitch, doesn’t mean you know jackshit about how the world revolves.

Go for it Mr. Bunning, do it the Old School way. It’s not that the minority should be able to stop the majority on a say-so, but that the minority’s arguments should not go unheard and the majority must either (a) muster overwhelming support for cloture or (b) sit tight and take it like big boys and girls until someone cries uncle (either by the opposition giving up from exhaustion, or the majority making a counter proposal the opposition accepts). The “mathematical” filibuster means you can have logjams lasting months, that in a real filibuster could have cleared in hours when the opponent finally passed out.

Yes. If you have only one Senator doing the filibustering. The problem is that if you have, say, five Senators, then they can take shifts and talk indefinitely. You can make them do the Jimmy Stewart thing, but nothing else would get done either.

The majority has the support of 99 members for cloture, it’s just that unemployment benefits for millions of people will expire in the time it takes to pass a cloture vote. If you think the primary problem with the Senate is that popular legislation is just too damn easy to pass, I don’t really know what to say.

When I first heard the story I misheard his name and was shocked that anybody would elect Jim Bouton senator, besides me, but was especially shocked that another senator would refer to his pitching accuracy in anything but a joke. Bouton was a knuckleballer, so accuracy was not in his vocabulary. Musta been someone else.

Yep. Jim Bunning. One of those boring GOOD pitchers.

The complete contrary - I feel that part of the problem is that due to the “mathematical” filibuster, well-supported legislation is just too damn easy to STOP.
But if a key benefit will expire in the time it takes to call cloture, then that means the Senate leadership let the clock run too damn close to the deadline. Don’t get me wrong, Bunning is being a total asshat over this; but procedurally, if something expires the 1st of March the decision to allow/stop a filibuster should NOT be happening on the last working day of February.

Is unemployment extension not exactly the kind of thing stimulus package is for? Good on you Senator Bunning.

The only reason this extension isn’t coming out of the stimulus package is because it is politically necessary to pass the increased spending. Why touch the slush fund if you don’t have to? That fund is going to come in handy come election time. This is why there are going to be many new faces in congress in both parties come election time.

I second this whole post.

I second this whole post :slight_smile:

Well, good, then maybe you can explain it to me?