House Rules Chair: GOP senators created budget mess by sharing power with Democrats

Rep. Peter A. Sessions (R.-Texas), the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, told the host of Yuma, Arizona’s KBLU’s “The Russ Clark Show” and co-host Washington attorney George Braun, that he blames Senate Republicans for the budget crisis that was just pushed off until Feb. 8.

“It is really up to Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz and the senators to say: ‘Enough of that, let’s get the American people’s job done,” said Sessions, whose committee is the last hurdle for legislation to clear before reaching the House floor for a vote.

In the Senate, legislation has a two-step vote process, first there 60 votes are required to close debate, cloture, and only then can a measure be brought up for the up-or-down that is decided by a simple majority.

This process means a minority with 41 votes can block a piece of legislation until it expires with the end of the congressional session. This is the maneuver known as the “filibuster.”

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The other maneuver this process allows is for senators to vote to close debate by contributing to the 60 votes required, but then they can vote against the measure when it is up for final passage–creating the impression that they opposed the bill that in fact, they helped pass.

Sunday, while speaking on the Senate floor, Majority Leader A. Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell (R.-Ky.) rebuked House Republicans and President Donald J. Trump, calling for the end of the filibuster when he said: “We all know that in the Senate, the minority has the power to filibuster.

Sessions told Clark and Braun he does not understand why Senate Republicans, including his delegation colleague Texas Republican Sen. R. Edward “Ted” Cruz Jr., continue to allow the 41-vote filibuster.

“These senators should quit asking for permission on a 60-vote basis, literally a super majority and go to the simple majority–that’s the way we work back home,” the chairman said.

“When I was the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in Dallas, we had lots of contentious decisions and we have people who did not completely agree, so we sat down and said: “We trust all of us and all of us are better than one of us, but half of us plus one is enough to make a decision.”

Here the whole segment of Rep. Peter A. Sessions (R.-Texas) on KBLU’s with Russ Clark and George Braun: 

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Neil W. McCabe is a Washington-based political journalist and editor. Before joining Big League Politics, he was the Capitol Hill correspondent for Breitbart News, where he also led Breitbart's political polling operation and wrote up the Breitbart-Gravis polls. McCabe's other positions include the One America News DC Bureau Chief, a senior reporter at Human Events and a staff reporter at The Pilot, Boston's Catholic paper. McCabe also was the editor of The Somerville News, The (North Cambridge, Mass.) Alewife and served as an Army combat historian in Iraq. His 2013 e-book The Unfriendly Skies examined how the American airline industry went from deregulation in the late 1970s to come full circle to the highly-regulated, highly-taxed industry it is today.


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