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Filibuster prevents legislative mood swings

Forty-nine sheep and 51 wolves were voting on “What’s for dinner.”

Of course the sheep lost. Two years later, 49 wolves and 51 sheep, (not the same sheep, of course), voted the same question. This time, the wolves lost.

This is “simple majority rule, and is the main reason for the extreme swings in legislation.

I bring this up in defense of the Filibuster Rule, which requires a 3/5ths vote to close debate on a bill in the Senate, and allow voting on final passage.

I see the 3/5ths rule as a hedge against rapid reversals of laws every time a new party takes over the Senate.

In fact, I believe a 2/3rds vote should be required in both houses for passage of any bill. Not only would this requirement result in bills that are necessarily less extreme, but it also would remove presidential veto threats, and return the executive branch to seeing that laws duly passed were faithfully executed.

Is this a radical idea? Yes, but so was the U.S. Constitution, and the Constitution does not specify the percentage needed to pass a bill.

The Constitution does specify some percentages: overriding a veto (2/3), Impeachment (OK, a majority), conviction (2/3), constitutional amendment (2/3), expulsion of a house member or senator (2/3).

The simple majority rule was established by Congress, and can be changed to a 2/3 majority rule by Congress, if they only would. 

Bills would be harder to pass, but would represent the interests of more Americans

— Steve Kirby, Abilene

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