“Of course they need 60 votes in the Senate to pass…”

By | May 5, 2009

I heard a pundit on the radio this morning say that “of course they need 60 votes in the Senate to pass” the credit-card bill of rights legislation.

It seems that it is now taken as a given that any law which the minority party does not like will be fillibustered if they can muster up 41 Senators to oppose it.

I do not think it’s supposed to work this way, and as far as I know it didn’t work this way until relatively recently on the scale of how long there has been a U.S. Senate.  As I understand things, fillibusters are supposed to be reserved for only the most critical issues.

Am I naive?  Was it always this way and I just didn’t realize it?  Or has the partisanship in Washington really gotten so bad that Congress has become completely dysfunctional and is simply no longer working the way the Founding Fathers intended?

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