s skippy the bush kangaroo: it's hard to reid lieberman

skippy the bush kangaroo

Sunday, August 27, 2006

it's hard to reid lieberman

bob geiger has an excellent take on why sen. reid is so coy about whether or not the senate dems will take away lieberman's ranking committee appointments if lieberman manages to win the november election.

based on the way the senate works procedurally, this is simply not something that reid even has the authority to do.

let me break down why that is.

the membership in senate committees is decided at the start of every congress with a haggled-out thing called an "organizing resolution." the entire senate votes on it and it usually passes by unanimous consent. organizing resolutions can also happen when party shake-ups occur in the middle of a congress, like when vermont's jim jeffords bolted from the gop in 2001.

to give joe his well-deserved comeuppance by taking him off committees and effectively making him the most junior member of the senate, reid would have to formally propose an amendment to the current organizing resolution, manage to get it to a vote and then get every democrat and a handful of republicans to vote for a new committee organization sans lieberman. if majority leader bill frist decided to filibuster reid's action, 60 votes would be required to keep it alive.

based on that procedural construct, harry reid can't just unilaterally, or even by a closed vote of the democratic caucus, strip lieberman of his committee assignments.
it's an instructive post, we recommend everyone reads it.
posted by skippy at 12:04 AM |


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