Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Fili fumbling

The Senate leaderships have failed to reach a compromise, both feeling they are bargaining from strength, Reid and Frist insist they have the votes on their side, and therefore failed to reach a reasonable compromise. The final showdown should happen this week.

But there is a group of Dems and Repubs that are negotiating independently. And if they can create a block large enough to control those 10 votes in the middle, they'll have more power then I think they are given credit for. Here is their proposal:
Even as Frist and Reid gave up efforts to reach a compromise, a small group of Democrats, who have been meeting with Republicans also eager to avoid a showdown, floated a proposal to clear the way for confirmation of some of Bush's blocked appointees.

Under the proposal, circulated in writing, Republicans would have to pledge no change through 2006 in the Senate's rules that allow filibusters against judicial nominees. For their part, Democrats would commit not to block votes on Bush's Supreme Court or appeals court nominees during the same period, except in extreme circumstances.

Each member would be free to determine what constituted an extreme circumstance, but Republicans would bind themselves to not changing the filibuster rule for the next two years.
Currently, they would agree to let votes happen on "Richard Griffin, David McKeague and Susan Neilson, all named to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals." Along with "William H. Pryor Jr. for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and Janice Rogers Brown for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia." They would continue to block "Henry Saad to the 6th Circuit Court, Priscilla Owen to the 5th Circuit and William G. Myers III to the 9th Circuit."

On a side note. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is one who has publicly mentioned she will not vote in favor of the rule change. But with three bases closings in Maine, you got to wonder if that was a ploy by the White House to negotiate for her vote, in return for a couple bases back. Pretty sneaky if ya ask me. Take away something you have no desire to cut, so you can give it back anyway in exchange for a vote. That the one I'll be watching closely.


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