Hagel’s nomination

Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid’s speech, from last week, regarding Chuck Hagel’s nomination for secretary of state and the filibuster.  He made these remarks after the vote to invoke cloture did not pass.  What is his argument for ending the filibuster?  Do you agree or disagree?



20 responses to “Hagel’s nomination”

  1. Lizzie1 says :

    The filibuster is important to give the minority a voice, but I agree with Reid in this case, because the filibuster is now being used just to prove to the base that you don’t support the president. Filibuster reform would be great, but ultimately this problem goes back to the campaign funding and the way primary elections are held.

  2. natek7 says :

    One of the main points senator Harry Reid makes is the message this filibuster sends. He says that by not selecting a secretary of the state it make the United States look weak and sends a negative message to our troops and other countries. While I agree that not having a secretary of state, for what senator Reid claims is purely political reasons, makes the United States look bad, it should not be the sole reason why a secretary of state is chosen. It is the responsibility of senate to approve the president’s nominee for secretary of state and if the senate finds the nominee lacking they should not be selected, regardless of what message it sends.

  3. andreaj7 says :

    Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid said “republicans have constantly invented new pretexts for opposing Senator Hagel’s nomination, and Republicans continued their embarrassing display of disregard for our national security by blocking Senator Hagel’s nomination today.” I agree with Lizzie that filibusters give the minority a voice, but I also believe that these kind of filibusters that prevent legislation prevent parties from working together.

  4. BenLev4 says :

    The purpose of the filibuster is to protect the minority party, but nowadays is used to give the majority party a difficult time. In my opinion, Hagel meets the criteria for a Secretary of Defense, and probably meets the criteria for many Republicans in the Senate. This situation exemplifies the political gridlock our country faces. Hyperpartisanship slows down nominations and legislation that are critical for America. As Senator Reid said, “we need a Secretary of Defense at that meeting, it sends a terrible message… that we don’t have a Secretary of Defense.” Filibusters such as this one are immature and undermine the democratic system.

  5. Ryan4 says :

    I agree with Ben and others above who stated that the filibuster is a defense mechanism for the minority party. This also seems to be the case where it is being abused not as a tool in defense, but in order to set the record that they disagree with the democrats, a weapon really. It simply adds to the lack of political decisions made nowadays; especially disappointing considering that Hagel is a very qualified politician for the job.

  6. Christina4 says :

    This move by the Republicans in unprecendented and plainly a personal vendetta of John McCain. I agree with Sen Reid completely. The way the GOP has used Benghazi as a ploy to undermine the presidents in just going to raise more hell. Instead of actually listening to bipartisan reports on the matter and listening to the facts, McCain is using his position to shoot down as many people associated with Obama as he can. And as Rachel Maddow wrote, “I hate to be a stickler for such things, but as a rule, when the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee accuses the White House on national television of orchestrating a cover-up as part of a terrorist attack, it’s not too much to ask that the senator have some idea what he’s talking about. But in this case, McCain is simply lost in a fog of his own partisan rage.” Pull it together GOP, using these tactics to pursue your goals only screws with the system even more. The filibuster can and has been abused but also utilized effectively by BOTH parties but this is just hurting the country in the long run.

  7. AkhilP7 says :

    Although the filibuster is a necessity for protecting the minority party’s rights, this move on behalf of the GOP is pretty much a lame attempt at gaining traction. The reason, as stated by Republican senators, to sustain the filibuster is that the White House hasn’t provided sufficient information on the Benghazi attacks. Now if this was truly an issue, there would have been a filibuster on the Sec of State nominee, John Kerry. There wasn’t. Now McCain, who formerly stated that Hagel was likely to get passed and that there was no need to question his service (that would be you Senator Ted Cruz), joined the filibuster because Hagel said, “Bush was the worst president since Herbert Hoover.” It’s all obviously political play and the filibuster only puts off the confirmation until after recess, at which point Hagel will be confirmed. So even though the filibuster was unnecessary, it doesn’t make a difference. All it shows is that there needs to be reform on the filibuster process.

  8. nyle4 says :

    To say that the Republicans are using the filibuster for purely political means is a judgement that not a single person looking at this conference can make. Watching his hearings he does not come off as someone I would want as secretary of defense, he bumbled, avoided answering questions, and contradicted himself on countless occasions, but, putting that aside, there is nothing wrong with using the filibuster to block a nomination. Not once have I heard anyone even entertain the idea of President Obama attempting to negotiate with the GOP and find a nominee they both find agreeable. Hagel is not the only person in the country who is qualified to be Secretary of Defense, in fact I am sure there are many people who would make a good Secretary of Defense. Once you make an exception with something like the filibuster, it then becomes impossible to determine when it is or is not acceptable to use the filibuster and in my view it is imperative that the minority has an ability to check the power of the majority whether I agree with them or not.

  9. Crawford4 says :

    The problem with the filibuster can be solved easily and quickly. I think we can all agree that minority rights are important today and were important to our founding fathers, so it is imperative that we protect those rights. But at the same time just like any right it can not be abused like it is currently. The solution is to just limit the number of filibusters a party has per term. That would make it so each party would have to choose what is most important to protect for their minority and it most likely not be holding up ever presidential appointment.

  10. Ellen7 says :

    The problem of the filibuster is like so many other problems in the political world. It is a necessity but is often times abused. Filibusters cannot just be taken away and banned completely, but clearly something needs to be done. A compromise must be made, which is not always easy but in this case it has to be done. I agree with Ben in that the filibuster is supposed to give the minority party a voice, but it has become more of a way to simply hassle the majority party. As Lizzie said, it’s “being used just to prove to the base that you don’t support the president” which is completely silly and a waste of time.

  11. robhrabchak4 says :

    I think that the use of a filibuster in this particular case is wrong because it is being used solely to delay the vote. Whether Chuck Hagel is confirmed or denied the position, there is no reason to extend the process. By doing so the Senate is complicating the process when their focus could be on more pressing events such as the upcoming sequestration. Here we have another example of the political process being abused to allow individuals to appeal to certain demographics while ignoring the greater good of the country.

  12. roryblock1 says :

    The use of the filibuster in this case is being abused. It’s easily the minority party trying to prevent from happening what they don’t want to happen! He says that it makes the US look weak to not have a secretary of state but I disagree–it makes us just look careful and picky. We aren’t choosing someone just because we need someone, we’re making it careful and deliberate. Well, even if that’s not the intent of the minority who used the filibuster…

  13. 4mary says :

    I think there is a point to be made by Reid about why the filibuster is ridiculous here but I don’t think that he’s making it. He starts off by saying how we need a secretary of defense more or less just to have one. And that’s an awful argument. We shouldn’t just confirm someone because there’s an open position. That being said the frequency of the filibuster in recent years and the fact that it’s never been used in a confirmation hearing before shows that this isn’t an appropriate place for it and that some re-evaluation needs to take place.

  14. Chad4 says :

    I do not agree with Senator Reid’s comments. I believe that Senator Hagel’s record is fair game and that Republicans, as well as democrats, should continue this process a little bit further to ensure he is the right man to be the next Secretary of Defense. While I also believe that the filibuster is a necessary procedure in the Senate, there should be limits on its use. This is not a good example for that argument due to Senator Hagel’s record, but I still think it is a proposal that the Senate should consider.

  15. emmar4 says :

    I agree with Ford and Chad– one of the most effective ways to help fix this problem would be to limit the number of times the filibuster can be used. I think that it is important to be firm on the prospective Secretary of Defense, but if what Senator Reid said about the Republicans using the filibuster just to use it is true, then the minority party is going too far and abusing the power of the filibuster.

  16. katiepetrino4 says :

    Senator Reid’s argument rests on the premise that this filibuster is a threat to national security. That argument seems a little desperate, but I do agree with him that the filibuster is a bit ridiculous. In this case, the minority party is abusing its protections. Nominations from the president deserve a vote. Filibustering them is simply cowardly.

  17. Jonas1 says :

    While I agree with Reid that this filibuster is wrong, I think he’s blowing things out of proportion. Does it look bad? Sure, but we still have the strongest military in the world and that isn’t changing anytime soon just because this vote is delayed. If anything, it hurts the Republicans the most. This move makes them look quite petty and immature, and once Hagel is confirmed it’ll just be more bad PR for the sinking ship that is the GOP.

  18. molly4 says :

    We need a secretary of defense. The position is a necessity for dealing with foreign policy and often dangerous circumstances, and without a leader present, serious national risks are being taken. The filibuster is being abused to delay the appointment of a man who is fully qualified by all objective standards. While I do not support the abolishment of the filibusters because it protects the voice of the minority, I do feel that some reform is necessary to enable the senate to function quickly and effectively. Especially regarding the position of Secretary of Defense, the stakes are too high to waste time bullying each other over party differences.

  19. langston4 says :

    The filibuster is a vital weapon for the minority party in Congress. While I do think Senator Reid is over exaggerating a bit, I do think the filibuster is sometimes abused for political gains rather then to actually compromise and fix problems. Especially now with the two major political parties so against each other, I do think there needs to be some sort of reform on the usage of the filibuster so that Congress can work more efficiently.

  20. iqra07 says :

    The filibuster is an important power way to protect minority opinion, but in this case the Republican Party is abusing its power. Senator Reid’s argument towards the beginning of the video that Hagel should be confirmed simply because we need a secretary of defense is weak, but there is an argument to be made here. A decision needs to be made; the Republican Party is stalling excessively. Once a secretary of state is finally appointed, this is will just be something that follows the Republican Party and makes them look bad. Whether Hagel is confirmed or not, something needs to be done.

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