End the Filibuster?

Posted October 22, 2003 at 6:21pm

As if Sen. Zell Miller hasn’t angered his Democratic colleagues enough, the Georgia Democrat offered a bill Wednesday that would end the use of the filibuster. [IMGCAP(1)]

The bill would abolish Rule XXII, which requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster if a Senator objects to a bill or a nominee.

Democrats have effectively used the filibuster this year to protest President Bush’s legislative policies and block several of his judicial nominees, much to Miller’s chagrin.

“We need to get shed of this outrageous rule that allows 41 who oppose something to defeat 59 who favor it,” Miller, using his trademark mountain lexicon, said in a statement.

Although a Democrat, Miller’s outspoken support for Bush on issues such as taxes and judicial nominees has angered his Democratic colleagues.

Earlier this year, Miller joined Republicans in offering a bill that would lower the 60-vote threshold needed to approve Bush’s judicial nominations to 51 votes. That bill remains on the Senate calendar, but the Senate has not voted on it.

Going Up. Renovations to Rayburn House Office Building elevators are scheduled to begin Nov. 1.

The elevator upgrades are part of an ongoing modernization process in the Cannon, Longworth and Rayburn House office buildings. Upgrades to the Cannon elevators are scheduled for completion in February 2004.

“You may experience some inconveniences, but the work has been scheduled in order to complete the elevator modernizations as expeditiously as possible,” House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) wrote in a recent “Dear Colleague” letter.

This is the first significant upgrade made to the elevators, which were installed in 1963, Ney added.

Bookish Best. The Government Printing Office has tapped the Tulsa City-County (Okla.) Library as the first recipient of its Federal Depository Library of the Year award.

GPO selected the Tulsa library from more than 1,200 participants in its Federal Depository Library Program, which provides public access to government publications.

“I congratulate the Tulsa City-County Library for embracing new technology in its ongoing efforts to make public access to government information better accessible,” Public Printer Bruce James said.

— Mark Preston and Jennifer Yachnin