Friday, November 16, 2007

What the heck is Cloture? See below for answer..

A little debate lesson from the Center for Rural Affairs blog. Short story is that the farm bill is on hold again...

"The cloture vote on the farm bill failed, so the farm bill is put on hold until at least December. Starting later today, the Senate will go on a 2 week vacation- I mean recess- for Thanksgiving,
For those who have better things to do with their time than keep up on Senate procedural terms, all “cloture” means is that the Senate has a vote to end debate and proceed to actual consideration of a bill for a set period of time, at which point there would be a vote on the bill. Since Senate procedure usually allows for unlimited debate, cloture is the primary way in which the Senate forces an end to debate on a bill and schedules an actual vote.
The key, of course, is that you need 60 votes to win a cloture vote. Not a simple majority. Since there are 51 Democrats in the Senate, they needed 9 Republicans to break with their party and vote for cloture. That didn’t happen, so now the farm bill is put on the back burner for a time- but nobody really knows how long. We’ll have more commentary later today."

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