I think that right now that's the way things are operating. And we've had to make sure that we fight through those issues. I think Harry Reid has done a very good job grinding it out.
But as somebody who served in the Senate, who values the traditions of the Senate, who thinks that institution has been the world's greatest deliberative body, to see the filibuster rule, which imposes a 60-vote supermajority on legislation - to see that invoked on every single piece of legislation, during the course of this year, is unheard of.
I mean, if you look historically back in the '50s, the '60s, the '70s, the '80s - even when there was sharp political disagreements, when the Democrats were in control for example and Ronald Reagan was president - you didn't see even routine items subject to the 60-vote rule.
So I think that if this pattern continues, you're going to see an inability on the part of America to deal with big problems in a very competitive world, and other countries are going to start running circles around us. We're going to have to return to some sense that governance is more important than politics inside the Senate. We're not there right now.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Filling Gaps in the White House Website, Part 30
On the NewsHour, the president expressed frustration with the Senate filibuster: