The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Business sentiment hardens against nuclear option

We have already established that the Senate - in particular, Democratic senators [1] - is open for business.

We're well before summertime; but boy has the living been easy for businesses and their lobbyists in the 109th, what with tort reform and bankruptcy done and dusted, and energy half-way there. The expectation has been for much more of the same.

So, as the LA Times reports, they're not loving the idea that fallout from exercise of the nuclear option might get in the way of their legislative goodies:
...representatives from the three business organizations — the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Assn. of Manufacturers — and several others met in Frist's office for a briefing on the filibuster rule from the senator's chief of staff. The three groups have declined to back Frist's filibuster initiative, issuing statements of neutrality.

The piece also says that
In January, the president of the National Assn. of Manufacturers, former Michigan Gov. John Engler, announced plans to expand the voice of his organization to include the federal confirmation fights.

That marriage of convenience between commerce and the crazies heading for the rocks?

  1. Enough of them to pass cloture, at least.


Frist set up a staff meeting with officials from NAM, USCC, and other organisations.

He's in no mood to take notice of their concerns, apparently.

There's something on method in the piece:
Senate Republican aides and advisers say Frist has not yet decided on the exact strategy he will use to end the filibuster.

But according to another well-informed Republican source, Frist is inclined to have the chair rule that the Democratic filibuster is “dilatory.”

Republicans appear to be searching for the method that would be least likely to give Democrats the opportunity to force a debate on the floor. One option discussed had been to raise a point of order that the filibuster is unconstitutional. However, if the constitutional point of order is deemed to be one of constitutional interpretation, it could be deemed to be debatable. “A point of order that is decided by the chair is not debatable, except at the sufferance of the chair,” said the adviser to Republicans.

Having the chair rule that extended debate on a nominee had become dilatory apparently would not lead to a debatable motion, making it the preferred option for now.

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