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

Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More

What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More