Gregory Koger

The Hastert Rule: It’s More Like a Guideline

Last week the U.S. House passed a bill supported by a majority of the Democratic party and a minority faction of the Republican members, even though the Republicans are the majority party and control access to the House floor. This has occurred three times in the last three months: Jan. 1, Extending and revising tax… Read more »

Proposed Senate Reforms: Recap and Discussion

The Congressional news (see links to text in article) of the day is that Senate majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell have reached a tentative agreement on a package of Senate reforms, subject to approval by (most of) their party conferences. The reforms are limited to agenda-setting motions, conference committees, and nominations. Here… Read more »

Senate Reform 101: The Case Against the Constitutional Option

On January 3, senators put off decisions about if or how to restrict the ability of senators to filibuster. The quasi-deadline for a decision is January 22. Why? Because, the argument goes, the first day of Congress is the magic hour when senators get to decide what their rules are. Once the magic day (and by “day” we mean… Read more »

The Failure of Plan B

After the House Republicans punted on legislation to extend the Bush tax cuts for all non-millionaires last night, today’s news cycle has been focused on a) what the failure of “Plan B” means for the fiscal cliff negotiations and b) what the failure means for Speaker Boehner. After great posts by Ezra Klein, Sarah Binder,… Read more »

Will Merkley & Warren’s “Talking Filibuster” Proposal Work?

Last Friday, our friends at Wonkblog posted comments on Senator Merkley’s proposed-but-still-vague reform. I thought I would elaborate on whether Merkley’s proposed reforms will help make the Senate more effective…or at least less of a disaster. First, some background on what the Senate reformers are talking about:  HuffPo says, The critical component, though, is a mechanism… Read more »