America’s Partisan Divide Just Got Much, Much Worse.

“Washington in gridlock!”, “Senate Filibuster!”, and other such phrases have plagued newspaper headlines for centuries in the United States, more so than ever in the last 5 years. A recent, and radical rule change in the Senate is about to change all that. A party line vote in the US Senate has changed a rule more than two centuries old, eliminating filibusters for most presidential nominations.

harry-reid-fingerFor those of you who aren’t familiar, the US constitution requires presidential appointments to certain positions to go forward only with “the advice and consent of the Senate”. The constitution of course requires a lot of things that the government doesn’t adhere to, but this is one of those procedural shows they’ve decided to hold onto. The constitution does not however describe exactly what “advice and consent” looks like. For over two hundred years, the Senate rules have described that as a 60 vote majority of the 100 member chamber. Today, the rules were changed to require a simple majority for all but Supreme Court nominations. 

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