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This Aide Doesn’t Want Senate Filibuster Rules to Change. Will He Convince Paul Ryan to Stay Out of It?

Editor’s Note:  House and Senate rules, in both U.S. and State, be design prevent every American from having an equal voice.  These in combination with committees the prevent floor votes and thus vote by the whole of the peoples representatives can be seen as parallel to rules established by the Pharisees and Sadducee at the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry.  The Lord condemned these “traditions of men” saying the results of them were to place undue burdens on others they themselves could not carry.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate who are taking aim at filibuster rules in the upper chamber won’t find an ally in House Speaker Paul Ryan, if the speaker’s new chief of staff has his way.

Although Ryan, R-Wis., has been silent on the issue since assuming the speakership Oct. 29, top aide David Hoppe consistently and publicly has held the line against efforts to change the Senate’s filibuster rules.

A veteran of Capitol Hill and personal friend of Ryan’s, Hoppe argues that proposed reforms would squash minority rights and trample Senate tradition.

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Hoppe warned that filibuster reform would place “simple majority-rule power in the hands of one party in the Senate and will change the federal legislature forever, and for the worse.”

>>>  Commentary: Why Getting Rid of the Filibuster Is a Bad Idea

Although the House speaker cannot change Senate rules, Ryan could exercise influence over members in the upper chamber.

At issue is the Senate’s process for passing legislation. A growing number of Republican senators are frustrated with Democrats’ ability to filibuster bills keeping legislation from coming to the floor and up for a vote.

Senate rules require 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to invoke cloture and begin debate on spending measures. Since becoming the minority party in January, Democrats have regularly deployed the filibuster as leverage during budget fights to secure concessions.

Some frustrated Republicans are eyeing the “nuclear option” to bypass and disarm the filibuster. A parliamentary tactic, the nuclear option allows for the suspension of Senate rules and passage of measures by a simple majority of 51 instead of 60 votes.

“The Senate has been referred to as the greatest deliberative body,” Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., told Politico. “This would help that deliberative body deliberate more by getting the bills on the floor for debate.”

The last time the Senate “went nuclear,” Democrats controlled the chamber. In 2013, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., employed the nuclear option to force through President Obama’s judicial nominees by a simple majority vote. Republicans criticized the move, including Hoppe, then a senior adviser at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a nonpartisan D.C. think tank.

In a 2014 National Review column, Hoppe criticized Reid for ignoring “regular-order mechanisms” as majority leader and choosing “the nuclear option—and the power that went with it.” He wrote:

The fabric of the Senate has been shredded by Senator Reid. Worse, his contempt for the established and tested rules of the Senate has eradicated important minority rights, robbing many Americans of a voice in the Senate.

Hoppe’s defense of the filibuster has been consistent through election cycles. In 2005, Senate Republicans floated the idea of going to the nuclear option when Democrats began filibustering President George W. Bush’s circuit court nominees.

Then working for the lobbyist group Quinn Gillespie and Associates, Hoppe warned of the potential fallout during an April 2005 appearance on PBS’s “National Journal Editorial Report.”

“Say a president…

 if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.


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