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In the Crossfire: The nuclear option
November 21st, 2013
03:50 PM ET

In the Crossfire: The nuclear option

The Senate has gone nuclear. Senate Democrats have taken drastic action by changing the rules of the legislative body, enabling judicial and executive nominees to be confirmed with just 51 votes instead of 60.

Is the "nuclear option" good for either party, or the country?

In the Crossfire: two members of that body, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and John Hoeven (R-ND).

They'll join hosts Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter to debate the dysfunction in Washington.

sanders hoeven

We want you to weigh in. Do you think dysfunction in Washington is curable?

Vote by tweeting with yes or no using #Crossfire or comment on our Facebook post. View results below or through our Poptip results page if you are on a mobile device.

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soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Iamnotfooled

    168 filibusters in history of the United States and 82 under President Obama? If the 40 or so kids in the House were not so unruly then maybe Papa wouldn't have spanked them. (Or silenced them). Nuclear option. Good. They deserved it.

    November 25, 2013 at 3:47 am | Reply
  2. INSURANCE is the PROBLEM

    Insurance is the PROBLEM. Insurance wastes 25% or more of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. Insurance CAN NOT, WILL NOT, and NEVER HAS been able to control health care prices. A single payer system is the ONLY system that will allow us, as an entire nation, to negotiate better health care prices (the REAL problem).

    November 22, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  3. California

    Their (democrats) arrogance and ignorance doesn't even allow them to see it coming.

    November 22, 2013 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • mikw

      Not to worry when rep. come into power i'm sure will change it back ....lol

      November 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  4. ncwriter

    Democrats are frustrated by the unreasonable Republicans? Of course they are, fanatics ALWAYS believe their opponents are unreasonable. In fact, believing that your opponent is unreasonable kind of defines a fanatic. So, it's also not surprising that Democrats would use their authority to change Senate rules in a way that limits the opposition...fanatics do not want to be blocked in executing their plan. What other (unreasonable) people think or say is meaningless compared to the fanatic's goal.

    Is this curable? Yes, of course it is. WILL it be cured is a different answer. Fanatics being elected to government is caused by weighted political districts, both on the left and right. When moderates vote, fanatics cannot hold power.

    November 22, 2013 at 7:43 am | Reply
    • Pete

      Republicans have filibustered 440 times and have broken every agreement they made on the issue. The Rep word is worthless as usual. They lie, cheat, and steal. Do away with the filibuster, and while we're at it, put that Republican in FL who bought Cocaine in jail, no probation. You want special priviledges for your chosen few. No, send them to jail.

      November 22, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  5. T-Thaddeus

    Do you ever notice when there is bad news, the word "Republican" is mentioned frequently. You might get used to staying,

    "The weather looks Republican, you better be extra careful when driving".
    "I had a Republican day at work today"!
    "I am feeling Republican, I better schedule an appt. with to see a doctor".

    Lets just face the facts, REPUBLICAN­S HAVE BECOME A LIABILITY.

    Did you know, that congress became dysfunctio­nal after the Republican­s were elected in 2010. We've seen and heard all the showmanshi­p from the Republican­s about their budget cuts, But they were the ones who launched the trillion dollar Iraqi war and even worse, triggered the many bank failures before "W" left office.

    The Republican Party claims to be the party of "Christian" and "family" values but acts in a manner inconsistent with Christianity or family values as it seeks to dismantle the programs that protect those with the least to benefit those with the most.

    "The Republicans", who would ever support such a party!

    Ask this simple question. who do you support, the USA or the GOP....?

    November 22, 2013 at 1:18 am | Reply
  6. Eric Christopher Jackson

    The left, the right, an aisle to work across does not really exist. It is only a construct built in the minds of those who live in this political atmosphere. Until the members of the House and Senate understand this, until the aisle, the left, and the right are destroyed in their minds, our nation will suffer the consequences. My advice? Dismantle the parties, the aisle, and the limousines. No more raising millions for campaigns. No more bribery, black mail, and strong arming. No more threats and bowing to demands from powerful partners in order to keep your job. The states are not red or blue; the states are our homes where we live. Everyone sit in alphabetical order according to your last name. School is back in session. We will learn how to care for others over ourselves once more. Then, perhaps, the country can be saved and we can breathe again.

    November 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • Karina

      Well said ..., finally a voice of reason.

      November 22, 2013 at 12:37 am | Reply
  7. Pablo

    No, the Washington beast has morphed into something that is uncontrollable. It will never be the same. Both parties are strictly adhering to party lines and not for what is best for America. It will never be the same. The cumbersome government of house and representatives will not work in todays world. China, with it's ability to quickly adapt and make decisions will soon surpass the US as to economy and military. We are stagnated under the burden of our government structure and the idea of political correctness. China is one of the few governments which recognizes the dangers of overpopulation and actually does something about it. The US constitution is hundreds of years old and is archaic and ambiguous. The second amendment (and others) is misinterpreted. It was not intended to allow every individual citizen to own any weapon ever developed for use by the military as the NRA seems to think.

    November 21, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • ncwriter

      But it's not uncontrollable. It exists because those elected come from political districts that are gerrymandered to be either democrat or republican. This system naturally elects those who lean far left or far right. Now you have a government of fanatics, who believe that the opposition is unreasonable, who cannot find common ground, who believe their goals are more important than any laws or rights that others have. I can see this behavior on both sides.

      The answer – balance congressional districts. The media could shame state legislatures into doing it by following the chain of causality. The question is "will they?"

      November 22, 2013 at 7:48 am | Reply
  8. A True Conservative

    For 96 years this rule has been in place ....But Harry and Barry know best,....Yup....they gave us Obamacare......PERIOD.......

    November 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      You are not taking anything into consideration, as usual. The Republicans have lied, cheated and stolen everything not nailed down. Time for it to end. Institutions like a filibuster can end, our country has been in existence for 200+ years, we can do without the filibuster, and there is nothing in the constitution mandating the filibuster. Do away with it, in full, today....

      November 22, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  9. sim namore

    This is what happens when we elect to govern us people who despise government, don't believe it works, don't believe it will ever work, and will do their utmost to see that it never does. We have representatives who hold a pledge they made to Koch Industries sacrosanct and above their oaths of office. There is no doubt that the Republicans have abused filibuster–but they refuse to even conduct everyday business–refusing, even at this late date, to fill posts and approve numerous other appointments. They are out to cripple government, so let's not be too surprised when we discover that it is indeed crippled. I challenge anyone who reads this missive, to look into the literature of an organization called the John Birch Society. These are among the kooks Dwight Eisenhower warned us about–an organization founded by the Koch brothers' father. Read a bit of what the JBS wanted to accomplish and you will discover that in large part that's exactly what's come about. They intended to stonewall and bring government to a halt and so they have. It's not a mystery. We are in the hands of Klansmen in suits.

    November 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Reply

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