Oct 07 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator John Boozman commented on an unprecedented move by Majority Leader Harry Reid effectively changing the rules of the Senate:
“This partisan move puts political priorities ahead of the needs of the American people. This is another example of the Majority rewriting the rules to try and get their way. What amounts to no more than power grab is a slap in the face to Americans wanting their voices to be heard.”
BACKGROUND: On Thursday, the Senate Majority voted en block to change chamber precedent, in effect rewriting the rules that enable the Minority to force votes even when the Majority doesn’t want to hold them.
By tradition, the Minority can use the parliamentary tactic of suspending the chamber’s rules to get further amendments to a bill considered. During consideration of S.1619, China Currency bill, Majority Leader Reid challenged the Minority's unanimous consent to schedule a vote on President Obama’s “Jobs Plan”, but the parliamentarian upheld it as allowed under the traditions of the Senate. Majority Leader Reid appealed the ruling, and won with a party line vote, officially overturning the old interpretation and establishing a new precedent that strips one of the few powers of the Minority away from them.