The Senate traditionally has given the minority party more say than in the House, but this distinction is beginning to disappear under the autocracy of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., says former Sen. Judd Gregg.
|Former Sen. Judd Gregg: "There is no longer an open amendment process and not even a great deal of open debate." (Getty Images Photo)
“The Senate is the place where the capacity to debate and amend proposed legislation is virtually limitless,” the New Hampshire Republican writes in The Hill
. “This is the way it is supposed to be. This is the way it used to be. But with the advent of Democratic control of the Senate under the leadership of Sen. Harry Reid this has changed fundamentally. There is no longer an open amendment process and not even a great deal of open debate.”
Reid has accomplished the change through “filling the tree,” which allows the majority leader to choke off the amendment process, Gregg says. Traditionally this method has been used sparingly. But “it is now an everyday event, a weapon wielded with autocratic excess” he says.
In addition, Democrats are trying to break down filibuster rules, Greg writes. “Protecting the minority from the arbitrary abuse of the majority is absolutely critical to maintaining the freedoms that give our nation its great strength,” he says. “Now one extraordinarily important pillar of that protection, the United States Senate, is being hollowed out.”
And why are Senate Democrats doing these dastardly deeds? “Simply because Democratic senators do not want to take tough votes as the next election looms,” Gregg writes.
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