Rules to Thwart Congressional Gridlock May Backfire

Monday, 10 Jan 2011 01:44 PM

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New rules touted as cures for congressional gridlock could wind up inflaming the partisan warfare that paralyzes Capitol Hill, National Journal columnist Eliza Newlin Carney writes. Calls for more comity in the wake of the Arizona shootings could founder over Senate Democrats’ proposal to limit filibusters and House Republicans’ new slate of sunshine measures.

“The harder lawmakers try to patch things up, it seems, the more they fall apart,” Carney writes.

Senate Republicans view filibuster reform as a Democratic power grab. House Democrats criticize rules promoting open debate and transparency in lawmaking as riddled with self-serving Republican exceptions.

There is a move toward the middle on filibusters, with Senate leaders promising to negotiate during the next recess, and the formation of a bipartisan working group to help get the White House’s nominees on a speedier confirmation track.

Meanwhile, House Republicans say that after they repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, Democrats will have ample room under the new rules to rewrite the healthcare overhaul.






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