The Corner

DeMint: With Filibuster, Cruz Was Just Going for Normal Order

Heritage Foundation president and former senator Jim DeMint defended Senator Ted Cruz’s brief filibuster this week that forced a 60-vote threshold to raise the debt ceiling, requiring Republican votes to do so.

DeMint argued Cruz was merely holding to normal procedure: ”The normal rule is you take 60 votes to move to a final vote, [which] they call cloture. I think that several members, including Ted Cruz, were simply asking, ‘Let’s keep the normal rules here.’ And that didn’t suit some folks.”

“The reason there’s a 60-vote rule in the Senate, and the reason Republican leadership fought so hard to keep it for nominations, is it requires some bipartisan working-together to pass something,” DeMint said. “The debt limit and just giving the president a blank check is an important vote, and to say we’re going to waive the rules to make it easier — if Ted Cruz hadn’t required standard procedure, there are several others [Republican senators] who would.”

Cruz’s decision to require what DeMint said was normal order angered a number of Republicans, since it meant that a number of Republican senators would then have to vote for ending debate on the debt limit, instead of moving to a simple majority vote where only Democratic senators would need to approve of the measure.

Most Senate motions, however, go to a simple majority vote, without cloture being invoked. For a variety of reasons, cloture is an increasingly common way to end debate. But as long as no senator wants to continue the debate, cloture and its 60-vote threshold aren’t necessary, so Cruz’s measure was not necessarily a maintenance of “normal order.”

Patrick Brennan — Patrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the ...

Most Popular

Film & TV

A Sad Finale

Spoilers Ahead. Look, I share David’s love of Game of Thrones. But I thought the finale was largely a bust, for failings David mostly acknowledges in passing (but does not allow to dampen his ardor). The problems with the finale were largely the problems of this entire season. Characters that had been ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Great Misdirection

The House Democrats are frustrated, very frustrated. They’ve gotten themselves entangled in procedural disputes with the Trump administration that no one particularly cares about and that might be litigated for a very long time. A Washington Post report over the weekend spelled out how stymied Democrats ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More