Friday, February 16, 2007

Holy Cow! Dems May Only Need Four More Senators

Daily Kos nicely breaks the Senate showdown for tomorrow on Bush's plan to send more trops to Iraq.

You see, Sen. John Mc Cain will not be voting; and of course, Sen. Tim Johnson will still be in the hospital. Sen. Joe Libermann does not work on the Sabbath, which leaves 97 senators -- provided every other GOP and Democratic member shows up and votes.

Calculating what it would take to break a filibuster of 97 senators, leaves 58 votes needed. And with Sens. John Warner of Virginia, Gordon Smith of Washington, and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine ready to vote with the Dems, we only need four more vote to break the filibuster.

Ninety-seven senators times three-fifths of total votes = 58 needed votes.

Oops, that's right; it's three-fifths of all members or 60 votes. the Washington Times helpfully points out the rules were changed with majority votes only.
[T]thanks in large part to the efforts of Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, the Senate rule governing filibusters was significantly changed in 1975. No longer would two-thirds of the members voting be necessary to invoke cloture; instead, three-fifths of the Senate membership (or 60 votes in a 100-member body) would be required. To achieve that Senate rule change in 1975, moreover, the Senate used at least three majority votes (51-42, 48-40, 46-43).
Oh, never mind; it did initially look like a good idea but Howling Latina supposes that Dems shouldn't really monkey around with Senate rules, especially since the pesky law of karma usuually reigns supreme. Something GOPers forgot during the "nuclear option" debate; and their unrepentant hubris in their quest for power in recent yesteryears.

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