Latvia - what happens when the crazies run economic policy
Panama Still Dragging Its Feet on Tax Haven Policies

Senate Supermajorities, Filibusters and Worker Rights

Labor activist Thomas Geoghegan recently had a piece in the New York Times that rightly decries how current filibuster practices are imposing supermajority requirements on non-treaty legislation like health care reform.

Ironically, treaties have now been effectively stripped of their supermajority requirements. The Constitution empowers Congress to regulate foreign commerce, and requires that treaties be approved by a Senate supermajority. According to the Federalist Paper 75, this was to ensure popular legitimacy of international instruments that would operate as domestic laws. Yet, the controversial 2005 Central America Free Trade Agreement - which the founders would likely have considered a treaty - passed by only two House votes. The process on this and similar deals was rushed through Congress via the Fast Track mechanism (itself receiving only one vote in the House in 2001), which limits debate and gives expansive powers to the executive to design and sign trade agreements.

Public policy will continue to face a legitimacy crisis if pro-worker legislation is perpetually blocked, while anti-worker trade deals skate through Congress.

Print Friendly and PDF

Comments

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)