April 28, 2015

Republican Senate Moves Beyond Gridlock

  1. In the last four Congresses, the Democrat leader Harry Reid locked out committees and consensus.

  2. Under Republican leadership, Senate committees are working and producing bipartisan legislation.

During the past four Congresses, Democrat Leader Harry Reid ignored committees and committee chairs. He operated the Senate as a one-man show. By allowing all members to contribute to the work of the Senate, and by respecting the committee process, the Republican-led Senate has moved beyond the gridlock that defined previous Congresses.

Then: Senate Committees Locked Out

With Senator Reid in charge, the Senate saw unprecedented use of Senate Rule 14. That’s a process that prevents a bill from being considered in committee, and instead places it directly on the Senate calendar. He used this rule to bypass committees 100 times in eight years for measures introduced in the Senate.

“Reid … regularly stomped on committee chairmen who dared compromise with Republicans.”

–Editorial Board, New York Post, 4/25/15


Now: An Improved Process and Bipartisan Legislation

Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act [Chairman Corker, Foreign Relations]The record of accomplishment just four months into this new Congress shows that Republicans have cleared a path beyond the gridlock of the past. Republican committee chairmen have reported bipartisan bills by having members participate in the process.

In addition to legislation already passed, these bipartisan bills are now ready for the full Senate to consider. In this Congress, Rule 14 has been invoked largely on legislation that enjoyed bipartisan support and before the Senate committees were organized and operational.

Allowing Senate committees to share the load in the legislative process leads to consensus and accomplishment for the American people. Under the new Republican-led Senate, this will remain the rule, not the exception.