In the past, I’ve been unable to to find data on senate majority leaders use of the practice called “filling the tree.” However, with the use of the term “poison pill” I was able to find this:
Senator Robert Byrd understood the importance of allowing for a full debate and amendment process in order to preserve the Senate as a unique institution in our democracy – “the one place in the whole government where the minority is guaranteed a public airing of its views.” The Senate, he taught, “was intended to be a forum for open and free debate and for the protection of political minorities.” Indeed, “as long as the Senate retains the power to amend and the power of unlimited debate, the liberties of the people will remain secure.”
Allowing the minority to debate and amend legislation has given way to the Democrats’ election-year political strategy of blaming Republicans as obstructionists. Majority Leader Reid has done this by preventing Republicans from amending pending legislation, ending debate before it starts, and by-passing the committee process.
And how does the current majority leader score?
And blocking debate?
Now, to be sure, Frist was leader for only two sessions, Reid just over 2. That would put Frist at 12.5 per session. Reid is at just over 25 if his total doesn’t rise at all in the remaining time of his 3rd session.