Bernie Sanders gets it right on the magic 60

July 7, 2009

Harry Reid is catching flack from Kos for constantly moving the bar: Now that the Dems have 60 Reid claims 60 is still not enough.   I certainly understand he has his job cut out for him herding Nelson, Bayh, Landrieu and Hagan, with their moderate constituencies, but especially with the corporate contributions that are rolling in and the lobbyists parachuting down.

But… we should expect every Democrat to vote for cloture 100% of the time, even if they end up voting against a bill in the end:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), called on the White House and Democratic leadership in Congress to ensure that party members agree unanimously to support cloture on legislation that would revamp the nation’s health care system. Democratic senators on the fence, he added, could still oppose the bill. But at the very least they should be required to let the legislation come to an up-or-down vote.

“I think that with Al Franken coming on board, you have effectively 60 Democrats in the caucus, 58 and two Independents,” Sanders said in an interview with the Huffington Post. “I think the strategy should be to say, it doesn’t take 60 votes to pass a piece of legislation. It takes 60 votes to stop a filibuster. I think the strategy should be that every Democrat, no matter whether or not they ultimately end up voting for the final bill, is to say we are going to vote together to stop a Republican filibuster. And if somebody who votes for that ends up saying, ‘I’m not gonna vote for this bill, it’s too radical, blah, blah, blah, that’s fine.'”

“I think the idea of going to conservative Republicans, who are essentially representing the insurance companies and the drug companies, and watering down this bill substantially, rather than demanding we get 60 votes to stop the filibuster, I think that is a very wrong political strategy,” Sanders added.

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