Senate Rules

Richard Swerdlin swerdlin at GTE.NET
Sat Sep 13 08:04:10 MDT 1997

        Since Senate rules permit a Chair of Foreign Relations to block
consideration of a nominee for ambassadorship, said rule should be
changed.  This rule is poor, since it gives too much power to a single
member of the committee.  Whether it has been used by Sen. Biden or
Sen. Helms, it remains poor.  Let the full Senate vote for or against a
given nomination.

        Senate rules usually receive little publicity, unless certain
occur, such as the present one.  Watching Sen. Helms on TV is beneficial
in the sense that more publicity occurs on this point.  Comparably, the
smug comments by Sen. Lott to the effect that Mr. Weld did not follow
the customary procedure of sucking up to the noblest in that august body,
suggest a need for improvement.  Thinking "that's the way it is", is not
very healthy.  By analogy, the same attitude seemed to exist concerning
traffic law enforcement on the interstate highway in Louisiana, that
was the subject of investigation on "Dateline" twice.  Criticism from
and without the state has prompted the leguislature to act more positively.
 The same is true about the executive branch in Louisiana.

Richard Swerdlin
(swerdlin at

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