Sunday, May 08, 2005

"We Need to Work Through This"

I missed "This Week" this morning, but an AP headline tonight caught my eye. It was this rather oddly-headlined story, "Senate GOP Hopes Deal Will End Filibusters." The sub-header was slightly more accurate: "Leading Republican Sen. Hagel Hopes for Deal to End Divisive Fight over Filibustering." After his excellent appearance on "Face the Nation" last weekend, Nebraska's Hagel talked some more sense today with George Stephanopoulos.

Said Hagel about the filibuster crisis, "My goodness, you've got 100 United States senators. Some of us might be moderately intelligent enough to figure this out. We would, I think, debase our system and fail our country if we don't do this. ... We need to work through this. ... But you can't give up a minority rights tool in the interest of the country, like the filibuster."

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), also on "This Week," said of Hagel's words "It's that kind of statement that gives us hope." Hagel said that talks between Reid and Frist are ongoing, adding "I know that Senator Frist and Senator Reid both want to work this out."

Hagel continued, saying "The United States Senate is a minority rights institution unique in the world. And I don't think either side wants to give that up. Now, the other part of this, which I also believe strongly, is that presidents deserve votes on their nominees." As he did last week, Hagel again admitted that the Republicans don't have clean hands on the judge-blocking issue: "What we did with Bill Clinton's nominees - about 62 of them we just didn't give them votes in committee or we didn't bring them up."

Senator Hagel continues to be right on the money with this issue.


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