Sunday, December 27, 2009

Looking Backward

We sure have come a long way since the 1960s when progressive legislation could count on substantial Republican support. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 could not be voted on in the Senate as a 57-day filibuster droned on. It took 67 votes to get cloture in those days, and only one bill since 1927 had received a cloture vote. The last senator in the filibuster, incidentally, was Robert Byrd, who spoke for
14 hours. Cloture stopped the filibuster and on the balloting itself, Republican senators voted for the bill, 27-6 (86% favorable), with Dems
at 46-21 (69%). In the House 63% of the Dems voted for the bill, and
80% of the Republicans did.
Yesterday's Senate vote was 100% Dems for, 100% Reps against. And of
435 House members, all Dems for, all but one Rep against. Talk about partisan gridlock.