Like most Americans, I am frustrated with Washington, and I’m alarmed by the lack of congressional accomplishment. They promised conservative reforms; we’ve received nothing.
President Trump made the argument that the Senate should reform the filibuster and allow bills to proceed with 51 votes instead of 60. He made a persuasive case, and it changed my earlier opinion on the issue.
After much consideration, I’ve concluded we must have filibuster reform.
Although not mentioned in the Constitution, the filibuster was instituted as a matter of Senate tradition as a way to uphold the values of the American notion of government — put simply, that laws should be challenging to pass.
Although the Founding Fathers were correct when they wanted to make it difficult to pass new laws, they would be shocked at the present course and scope of the federal government. The constitutional design is not functioning as intended. Not only has the government grossly exceeded its Constitutional boundaries, but the present system also perpetuates never-ending deficits, debt, the loss of personal liberties, a growing regulatory state, and an expansion of government power.
Congress’s present inaction, rather than upholding fundamental nature of limited government, serves to exacerbate the problem. With each day of silence, the government continues its improper advance. Because the status quo is hostile to self-government, at this stage, Congressional inactivity is forever undermining the very idea of limited government.
In response to those who would argue otherwise, how can an antiquated Senate rule be considered “conservative” if its very existence stands in the way of the restoration of Constitutional government?
At a minimum, to help negate the continued abuse of authority, the Senate rules should be changed to allow a majority of senators to repeal a federal law. Repealing unconstitutional legislation like Obamacare must be made easier, not more difficult.
When Congress respects the limits imposed upon it by the Constitution’s enumeration of powers, then, the filibuster can be a valuable safeguard. But unfortunately, that ship has sailed. Congress no longer follows the Constitution. Instead of respecting the Constitution and the Framer’s intent, the 60-vote filibuster requirement now serves as an obstacle to reform, thereby preventing a return to limited, Constitutional government.
If we are to restore the greatness of the republic, we must not be merely conservatives; we must also become reformers.
President Trump is right. Filibuster reform would allow the GOP to govern, with no more excuses.