Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Having had the filibuster wielded against them so effectively in the 103rd Congress, Democrats, now in the minority, made full use of their prerogatives under Senate rules; major legislation frequently encountered extended debate-related problems. The minority Democrats because increasingly adept at using extended debate and the Senate’s loose amending rules in combination to get their issues onto the Senate agenda. By threatening or actually offering their bills as often non-germane amendments to whatever legislation the majority leader brought to the floor and using extended debate to block a quick end to debate, Democrats forced Republicans to consider a number of issues they would rather have avoided–most prominently the minimum wage, tobacco taxes, campaign finance reform, and managed care (Sinclair, Unorthodox Lawmaking, 107)
Sinclair, Barbara.  Unorthodox Lawmaking: New Legislative Processes in the U.S. Congress (CQ Press: Washington, D.C.), 2000. 

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