Behold the New 70-Vote Majority
I watched a West Wing the other day in which the Bartlet admin was trying to win a Senate vote 51-49. Oddly, no one seemed concerned about where the other nine votes were coming from.
In the new Congress, the margin to pass anything through the Senate is inching up even more, from 60 to 70 votes, under the logic that for a GOP-led House to even consider a bill it needs to have demonstrated overwhelming support in the Senate. This logic started with the Toomey-Manchin amendment on background checks, and is now threatening the immigration reform plan:
Pro-immigrant advocates are pushing back against the Gang of Eight’s strategy to win 70 votes or more for comprehensive immigration reform, fearing it would require too many concessions to Republicans.
Liberal advocates of comprehensive immigration reform argue the bill only needs 60 votes to clear the Senate and that additional concessions to pad the vote total are not necessary.
If you think the House is going to pass anything the looneez don’t want, 70 votes or no, you’re out of your mind. If anything, the more votes a bill gets the more it becomes representative of the Washington back room dealings it took to get it there, so all the more reason to oppose out of hand, for the children.
(This is also a neat way to de-fang filibuster reform. If you can make winning a vote 55-45 cheating, your work is done for you.)