The 60-vote rule is already dead

In 2013, Harry Reid and the Democrats changed the Senate rules to eliminate filibusters for all presidential nominations with the exception of Supreme Court justices.  In effect, this was the death knell of the whole 60-vote rule.  This was an unmistakable signal that the Democrats will do whatever is necessary to promote their agenda when they are in power.  As soon as the Democrats are in a position where the 60-vote rule stands in the way of passing their agenda, it is gone.

Now the Republicans are in power in both the executive and legislative branches of the government but do not control 60 votes in the Senate.  If they let the 60-vote rule stand in their way, they are kidding themselves and hurting themselves at the same time.  Republicans are kidding themselves if they think the 60-vote rule will be useful to them if the Democrats regain the power the Republicans now have.  It will not.  The Democrats will eliminate it in a heartbeat if prevents them from doing anything they consider important.

They are hurting themselves if they allow the Democrats to use the 60-vote rule to delay or prevent them from passing their agenda.  The voting public first heard: "We can't do anything because we control only the House of Representatives."  Then: "We can't do anything because we control only the House and the Senate."  And now: "We can't do it because we don't have 60 votes in the Senate."  The public is getting pretty skeptical about Republican promises.

For the next 22 months or so, the Republicans control the presidency, the House, and the Senate.  The political winds seem to favor them in the next election, but who knows what could happen between now and then?  Trump and the Republicans must pass enough of their agenda in the coming 22 months to make believers out of the voting public.

Economic issues should take center stage.  It takes time for legislative changes to affect the real economy.  The key is to get the economy humming along nicely by election time in 2018.  To have an impact on the coming midterm elections, health care, tax reform, and infrastructure improvement must be passed this year.  The Republicans should slam through bills on all three of these issues by October of this year.  If mistakes are made due to the haste, so be it – they can be fixed later.  If the 60-vote rule threatens to even delay implementation on any of these issues, it should be eliminated immediately.  It won't help Republicans in the future and can only hurt them now.

I know that this is all possible, but I have doubts that it will really happen.  Scandals, a relentlessly antagonistic press, and international issues and problems will all distract from the laser-like focus on economic problems that will be required for this to come to pass.  Please make me wrong about this.

In 2013, Harry Reid and the Democrats changed the Senate rules to eliminate filibusters for all presidential nominations with the exception of Supreme Court justices.  In effect, this was the death knell of the whole 60-vote rule.  This was an unmistakable signal that the Democrats will do whatever is necessary to promote their agenda when they are in power.  As soon as the Democrats are in a position where the 60-vote rule stands in the way of passing their agenda, it is gone.

Now the Republicans are in power in both the executive and legislative branches of the government but do not control 60 votes in the Senate.  If they let the 60-vote rule stand in their way, they are kidding themselves and hurting themselves at the same time.  Republicans are kidding themselves if they think the 60-vote rule will be useful to them if the Democrats regain the power the Republicans now have.  It will not.  The Democrats will eliminate it in a heartbeat if prevents them from doing anything they consider important.

They are hurting themselves if they allow the Democrats to use the 60-vote rule to delay or prevent them from passing their agenda.  The voting public first heard: "We can't do anything because we control only the House of Representatives."  Then: "We can't do anything because we control only the House and the Senate."  And now: "We can't do it because we don't have 60 votes in the Senate."  The public is getting pretty skeptical about Republican promises.

For the next 22 months or so, the Republicans control the presidency, the House, and the Senate.  The political winds seem to favor them in the next election, but who knows what could happen between now and then?  Trump and the Republicans must pass enough of their agenda in the coming 22 months to make believers out of the voting public.

Economic issues should take center stage.  It takes time for legislative changes to affect the real economy.  The key is to get the economy humming along nicely by election time in 2018.  To have an impact on the coming midterm elections, health care, tax reform, and infrastructure improvement must be passed this year.  The Republicans should slam through bills on all three of these issues by October of this year.  If mistakes are made due to the haste, so be it – they can be fixed later.  If the 60-vote rule threatens to even delay implementation on any of these issues, it should be eliminated immediately.  It won't help Republicans in the future and can only hurt them now.

I know that this is all possible, but I have doubts that it will really happen.  Scandals, a relentlessly antagonistic press, and international issues and problems will all distract from the laser-like focus on economic problems that will be required for this to come to pass.  Please make me wrong about this.

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