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Nuclear Option in Senate Options
Dubai
Posted: Monday, January 22, 2018 2:03:40 AM

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Joined: 1/16/2011
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Dear Forum Members.
May someone kindly explains in simple words with example the political term NUCLEAR OPTION IN SENATE. The Republican does not have 60 votes in the Senate to pass the federal budget and now the govt is considering the NUCLEAR OPTION to bypass the required majority in the Senate to do the needful.
I went through many articles but they could clear my concept.
Thank you for always help.

A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Gabriel82
Posted: Monday, January 22, 2018 2:31:40 AM

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Joined: 7/22/2017
Posts: 66
Neurons: 139,468
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas, United States
Dubai wrote:
Dear Forum Members.
May someone kindly explains in simple words with example the political term NUCLEAR OPTION IN SENATE. The Republican does not have 60 votes in the Senate to pass the federal budget and now the govt is considering the NUCLEAR OPTION to bypass the required majority in the Senate to do the needful.
I went through many articles but they could clear my concept.
Thank you for always help.


Nuclear option means the party with a sufficient majority for 51 votes can pass an item being voted on.

Here is the wikipedia link that gives the brief history and a recent example.
progpen
Posted: Monday, January 22, 2018 10:46:06 AM

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Joined: 10/2/2015
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Neurons: 245,337
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_option

The nuclear option (or constitutional option) is a parliamentary procedure that allows the United States Senate to override a rule – specifically the 60-vote rule to close debate – by a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than the two-thirds supermajority normally required to amend the rules. The option is invoked when the majority leader raises a point of order that only a simple majority is needed to close debate on certain matters. The presiding officer denies the point of order based on Senate rules, but the ruling of the chair is then appealed and overturned by majority vote, establishing new precedent.

This procedure effectively allows the Senate to decide any issue by simple majority vote, regardless of existing procedural rules such as Rule XXII which requires the consent of 60 senators (out of 100) to end a filibuster for legislation, and 67 for amending a Senate rule. The term "nuclear option" is an analogy to nuclear weapons being the most extreme option in warfare.

The nuclear option has only been used in practice twice. In November 2013, Senate Democrats used the nuclear option to eliminate the 60-vote rule on executive branch nominations and federal judicial appointments other than those to the Supreme Court. In April 2017, Senate Republicans used the nuclear option to eliminate the exception for Supreme Court nominees, after the nomination of Neil Gorsuch failed to meet the requirement of 60 votes for ending the debate.

As of January 2018, a three-fifths majority vote is still required to end debates on legislation.


It's a way for the Senate to bypass a filibuster or a filibuster threat.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Dubai
Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 3:09:48 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/16/2011
Posts: 369
Neurons: 23,239
Thank you so much for such a great explanation.

A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 10:35:40 AM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Dubai - I'm glad you asked because I had no idea either. However, it sounded very scary and ominous to me, so I didn't dare to ask.

Thanks for being braver than I - now I too have learnt something!
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 3:26:55 PM

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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
They didn't need it and this opinion piece says Trump suggesting it only added to partisan rancor. And besides it wouldn't have worked here, but would "fundamentally alter the way the country is governed", it says. Thank goodness it's only a metaphor!


https://www.vox.com/2018/1/21/16916062/trump-nuclear-option-government-shutdown

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
progpen
Posted: Monday, January 29, 2018 1:46:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 1,686
Neurons: 245,337
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Hope123 wrote:
They didn't need it and this opinion piece says Trump suggesting it only added to partisan rancor. And besides it wouldn't have worked here, but would "fundamentally alter the way the country is governed", it says. Thank goodness it's only a metaphor!

https://www.vox.com/2018/1/21/16916062/trump-nuclear-option-government-shutdown


I don't know how much it would fundamentally alter the way the country is governed. That could be said about many things that have happened over the past 20 years. I think that the 60 vote rule will go away in the next 5 to 10 years. When it does go away, there will be very little talk about it because we will have moved on to the latest disaster. Once they get rid of the ability to filibuster and remove any need for a super majority, the Senate will basically become the House with longer tenure.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
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