Biden's ideas deserve votes, not filibusters (Chris Truax)
News Journal: Mr. Truax is identified as a Republican and “a legal adviser for The Guardrails of Democracy project.”
The writer sees the Senate filibuster rule as beneficial because “the majority should never be allowed to run roughshod over the minority.” On the other hand, it’s incumbent on the minority to “behave responsibly and act as a loyal opposition.” The result is engagement, which is “the exact opposite of simply killing off any legislation your constituents don’t like.”
Having won the election, the president deserves Senate consideration of the ideas he campaigned on, and any other result would be “profoundly undemocratic.”
The GOP is blamed, in that "for the past several years, Republicans have used the filibuster as an easy way to kill proposals that they didn’t like, or that would force them to cast politically difficult votes.” They need to act more responsibly, viewing the filibuster as “a last resort rather than as the Republican default position,” or this procedural safeguard will wind up being abolished.
Take the call to raise the national minimum wage to $15/hour. An increase of this magnitude seems like “a ridiculous idea,” but raising the minimum wage – as has happened numerous times, most recently pursuant to a law enacted in 2007 – is probably appropriate. So instead of a filibuster, let’s discuss the amount and timing of the increase and reach a compromise that "makes people of all political stripes minimally unhappy. That’s the way a functional democracy works.”
Comments: (1) The Republicans held a Senate majority from 2015-2020, and it was the Senate Democrats who were routinely using filibusters to avoid voting on (or event discussing) proposals that they didn’t like; (2) The latest word from Capitol Hill is that the $15/hour minimum wage will probably be jammed into the Covid relief bill and passed via the reconciliation process without bipartisan debate.