Congress: Food Stamps and Filibusters

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Despite a late-night, closed-door meeting with nearly all 100 senators present, Democrats and Republicans failed to reach an agreement on how to proceed with President Obama's nominations. Republicans are threatening to filibuster, and Democrats are vowing to change the Senate rules to avoid the block. Steven Dennis, White House correspondent and Congressional Leadership editor for Roll Call, talks about the gridlock, the ongoing impact on food stamps from last week's Farm Bill, and more news from DC.

Comments [13]

Ridgewoodian from New York

I agree with SFJoe from 10013 - the reform that's needed for ALL filibusters is that they should ALL be talked out. As long as you can continue speaking on topic you can continue speaking. But you have to continue speaking. Bernie Sanders did it a few years ago, Rand Paul did it, Wendy Davis did it in Texas and it got people watching, listening, and talking. Let's have more of that and less outright obstructionism.

Jul. 16 2013 10:47 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

There you go again....

Wages have tracked fairly close to CPI for the last 50 years...Since the Great Recession, wages have trailed inflation.

The overall economy has grown two percent faster than the CPI. Those facets that have anchored their incomes to overall GDP growth -- Rich people, unions workers, college tuitions, and others - have become relatively more expensive.

The Federal budget has grown three-quarters of a percent faster than the overall economy.

I don't know what the game is but it is clear that in the future some things have got to change.

Jul. 16 2013 10:37 AM
Todd from Brooklyn

I think you will find that the low approval rating of Congress is not due to it's "do nothing"-ness, but because of what legislation it decides to actually take up (which are usually not on the top of the list of most American's priorities.)

Jul. 16 2013 10:29 AM
Amy from Manhattan

From what I remember, filibustering almost all judicial nominees started in the Clinton administration.

Jul. 16 2013 10:27 AM
Lamar from Manhattan

I find the complaining quite funny. The system was set up to do nothing. It is doing precisely what it was intended to do. Everything was set up as a roadblock so that only the most important legislation would ever have a chance of getting through.

Jul. 16 2013 10:26 AM
SFJoe from 10013

Couldn't the rule be that senators who want to filibuster have to get up and speak?

Jul. 16 2013 10:26 AM
Joyce from NYC

Brian !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When the Dems threaten "the Nuclear Option" -- "What's the big dal?"

In the past, when the Republicans threatens it, it WAS A BIG EAL

I am not sing what is the right thing, an I agree thatSenate rules should be change, an maybe there should be no filibuster, but let's be consistent

Jul. 16 2013 10:26 AM
antonio from baySide

Why must we continue to believe the filibuster is a two sided issue...
Yes Harry Reid flipped from his position, yes, yes I know....

But what do people think about Lyndon B. Johnson presided over 1 filibuster as senate leader vs Reid's 400plus...
Also in the HISTORY of the united states filibusters vs. a president's pics is 20 and under Obama it's 16!!!!! Come on guys...we are better then that!

Jul. 16 2013 10:25 AM

Re: Farm Bill -- GOOD they dis-attached FOOD STAMPS from the FARM BILL.

Now the Farm Bill can stand on its own as a monument to Corporate Welfare -- without the traditional cover of doing any social good.

Jul. 16 2013 10:23 AM

A suggestion for SNAP/WIC:

move benefit decisions, funding & all admin. functions to CMS-Medicare/Medicaid so that primary care physicians can supervise the nutritional support for their patients. Modern chronic medications need a large variety of foods to carry the meds through the body & vitamin/mineral supplements are often needed to counteract organ damage due to the chronic meds. Moving to CMS-Medicare/Medicaid also allows regional variation due to real time cost data.

Best suggestions for Social Security: use the BLS CPI-E measure for Social Security COLA determination & remove the salary/wage cap on FICA/FISA taxes.

Jul. 16 2013 10:08 AM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes, NJ

Wind and Wisdom

"Such a prolonged display of bad temper and personal animosity, obstinacy, narrow-mindedness, and disregard for the public interest, with total defiance of the rules of orderly parliamentary procedure,” the Literary Digest quotes the New York times in an article titled The Filibuster At Its Worst, March 19, 1927

“We face the practical consequences of the Senate's enforced failure to pass certain measures necessary for the support of the Government. The most important. of these measures killed by the final filibuster was the second Deficiency Appropriation bill, carrying appropriations for the Army and Navy, World War veteran hospitalization, pensions, radio regulation and many other activities of the Government…the Administration is trying to meet the emergency by switching funds, and by a loan,” says the Digest.

“‘If the Senate can't vote, what good is it?’ asks the Chicago Journal of Commerce, which adds: ‘As the case stands now, a single Senator can block action by all the rest.’”

“We got wind where we had paid to get wisdom,” said Will Rogers.

Jul. 16 2013 09:56 AM
Robert from NYC

Let's have a REALLY! session. REALLY, did you think these do-nothing-important senators would resolve this vote thing? REALLY? Did you think wussy wimp Harry Reid would "force " the change of majority vote--which btw is the constitutional simple majority-- REALLY, did you think HE wimpy Harry would "force " anything!! He's come a long way from his boxing days! Did you think the dems would push for the change? REALLY? No they want the 60 vote as much as the repubs do because when in power they can control the voting. No one of these millionaires made in DC wants a government for the people--that would be you and me--they want a government for themselves and their billionaire corporate lobbyist supporters or rather bosses. REALLY? REALLY! Yes, whoever called me a ranter a few weeks ago, I am ranting again. REALLY!! This is the wimpy society run by the wimpy government run by the big bosses! REALLY.

Jul. 16 2013 09:56 AM
carolita from nyc

I don't understand why they have only the choice to go "nuclear" or keep the status quo. Why don't they concede that presidential nominee filibusters can be useful for forcing reconsideration, or giving people time to investigate a candidate, but then put a time limit on the effect a filibuster can have, and the number of filibusters per presidential nominee? I mean, yes, we get the point: sometimes a candidate is actually fishy. But once you have a chance to see why, you should have to concede to the President's choice after the candidate has been cleared of actual wrongdoing or been proven competent. The serving President is usually quite sensitive to the general public reaction. With the nuclear option Obama probably could have appointed Susan RIce in spite of all the Republican objections, but I think he would have done the same thing as he did without it, after the way she was tainted by the whole scandal-mongering. There needs to be more civility in the Capitol. Let's have a nuclear Civility option.

Jul. 16 2013 09:44 AM

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