Friday, April 15, 2011

Good Reminder

Of all the craziness of the past few days, you may not have heard this particular story. Senate dysfunction has not been a particularly high-priority story, but it’s still very much there. Earlier this week, a minor little controversy bubbled up over the funding of a study asking whether it was appropriate to deepen the Port of Charleston, South Carolina. It was scheduled to be defunded, but Lindsey Graham threatened to “tie the Senate in knots” over the missing fifty thousand dollars.

To be fair, this does appear to be an important issue and maintaining infrastructure is a big deal. But it is funny the extent to which a temper tantrum will get the needs of Senators met:
Another shutdown showdown averted -- this time the shutdown of the Senate over the paltry sum of $50,000.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have reached an accommodation to provide $50,000 for a study on deepening the Port of Charleston, and now Graham is standing down and is no longer threatening to "tie the Senate in knots" and block Obama's nominations from winning Senate approval.

But this should still remind you how ridiculous a system that allows a single determined Senator to shut down large portions of the legislative process over what is ultimately a minor, invisible study.

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