Friday, March 11, 2005

Senate Roadblock to Social Security Accounts

All it takes to stop President Bush's plan to privatize a portion of Social Security is 41 votes in the US Senate. If opponents have that many -- they can keep the idea from ever reaching the floor.

So reporters at the Washington Post started calling Senators to see how many are firmly against the plan. They found 42 -- maybe 44 -- opposed enough to block it in the Senate. The only two who wouldn't criticze the President's plan were Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Robert Byrd (D-WV).

The Post only surveyed Democratic Senators and left leaning independents.

On top of them, there are believed to be some Republicans opposed to the idea if it means borrowing money to pay for it. And Vice President Dick Cheney is on the record saying it'll cost "trillions."

Among Republican Senators the President has yet to sway to his side are Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Lincoln Chafee (R-RI). (WashPost)

1 comment:

cracker said...

So you don't seem to have a problem utlizing the filibuster. Which, in essence, undermines and changes the constituiton pertaining to the number of votes required to pass certain items like SS reform or judicial nominations.

For example, it takes 51 votes to affirm a jusdicial nomination. Under a filibuster, it would take 60 votes to affirm that same nomination. (It is 60 since Robert Byrd changed the Senate rules before for breaking a filibuster and lowered the number from 67 to 60.)

It seems to me, the filibuster had specific reasons to be used, blocking normal legislation and judicial nominations were not some of them.

The Senate should do a Robert Byrd and lower the votes needed to break a filibuster to 51, then we can get back to the constituionality of business.