By
ED Show
updated 6/19/2013 6:19:27 AM ET 2013-06-19T10:19:27

Unprecedented Republican obstruction has consequences that affect nearly every American: Record Republican filibusters have created 79 vacancies on the U.S. circuit courts and courts of appeal. And they threaten to make the National Labor Relations Board obsolete, leaving 80 million workers across America without vital safeguards.

After working a double shift, the last thing a worker wants to hear about is the filibuster. But unprecedented Republican obstruction has consequences that affect nearly every American.

Record Republican filibusters have created 79 vacancies on the U.S. circuit courts and courts of appeal. And they threaten to make the National Labor Relations Board obsolete, leaving 80 million workers across America without vital safeguards.

“They believe in 19th century capitalism, markets only,” Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America, told The Ed Show on Saturday. “We believe you need safeguards. You need rights, not just markets.”

The GOP made the 112th Congress the least productive on record. And yet, they’ve had the time to vote to repeal Obamacare 37 times.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is said to be reconsidering the so-called nuclear option to revisit the filibuster reform if the Senate GOP blocks three upcoming key nominations. Reid passed on his opportunity to change the Senate rules in January, but this time Americans need to stand up and say enough is enough.

Cohen is threatening to support challenges to Democratic incumbents who oppose filibuster reform in next year’s primaries.

“There are Democrats who have said to us, ‘how am I going to get my funding for my next election?’ And we say to them ‘you’re not going to get your votes for the next election. We’re done.’”

This goes far beyond judicial seats and labor. This is about democracy. This is about Republicans doing everything in their power to block the will of the people and this president and denying the last two presidential elections even took place.

Video: Why you should care about filibuster abuse

  1. Closed captioning of: Why you should care about filibuster abuse

    >>> welcome back. here is the story for the folks who take a shower after work. we focus on that every week on the last part of the show. you know, when you clock out after a hard day 's work, the last thing you want to hear about is, what, the filibuster? after working a double. it's hard to keep up with the conservative obstruction going on in republicanfilibusters threat have resulted in 79 judicial vacancies. while you're outdoing your job for a living, the gop made the 112 congress the least productive on record. the vacancies on the national labor relations board could leave workers across america without vital safeguards, and the gop 's refusal to confirm judicial nominees threatens exactly what makes us american what republicans are doing is an affront to democracy itself. they have taken a process. our democratic process , and rigged it to be a one-sided game of obstruction. harry reid is said to be reconsidering the so-called nuclear option to revisit the filibuster reform if the senate gop blocks three upcoming key nominations. reid passed on his opportunity to change the senate rules , this time americans need to stand up and say enough is enough. this goes far beyond labor. this is not just about judicial seats. this is about democracy. this is about republicans doing everything in their power to block the will of the people and this president and denying the last two elections even took place. i'm joined by larry cohen , president of the communications workers of america who spent countless hours trying to get harry reid to change the rules of the senate so we can move on as a country. explain to viewers why this is such a threat to democracy.

    >> we elect a president by an overwhelming majority. and then his nominees can't get through? if they do get through, it's months or years later. there's never been obstruction like this. republicans are playing extreme politics. too many democrats are playing by 20th century rules. the two don't work together. we need to step up. democrats need to say enough is enough.

    >> they haven't done that?

    >> they haven't done that. they can do that at any time. the constitution says it loud and clear. the senate makes it's rules. particularly on nominations, this is a no-brainer. they need to act. they need to make it clear that this president's nominees have a right to a vote. that's all we're talking about.

    >> let's get down to it. harry reid could not have won re-election against sharron angle had he not had labor boots on the ground . what is the holdup? lack of loyalty here or he's afraid of the next session?

    >> it's not just harry reid , it's four or five democrats in his caucus. all of us, whether we're label, greens, students fighting student debt that is extraordinary or consumers, there's no consumer financial protection bureau director confirmed. we need to stand up together and say to democrats which side are you on? if you don't fight for the president's nominees now, in the next two months, you have no use to us. there are democrats who have said to us how will i get my funding for my next election? we say to them you're not going to get your votes for the next election. you're done.

    >> wow. it's come to that. there's such a level of frustration amongst progressive workers in this country, you're almost threatening lawmakers to move on this.

    >> wouldn't be threatening. it would be about democracy democracy means we can run primaries, too. if they don't step up and have a 21st century democracy where we can get up or down votes on the president's nominees, what use are they? it's not just the republicans here. democrats need to decide which side are they on? the chamber of commerce and corporate law firms that are rejoicing every day with new opportunities, or are they on the side of the american people ? that's what's at stake today.

    >> why should we care if the national labor relations board doesn't get staffed. i know why. i want to hear it from you.

    >> 80 million workers, whether they have a union or not, that's the floor they walk on every day. they could be fired just for speaking up. whether they're in fast foods or professionals at work. this is the only defense there is for american workers. now we have corporations attacking even the regional labor boards, that they don't have no standing.

    >> why won't the republicans fill out the board?

    >> it's the attack on working people across the country. they believe in 19th century kap capitalism, markets only. we believe in rights, not just markets. what's the next move in trying to get the nlrb functional with only one person sitting on it now?

    >> the next move is that tom harkin 's committee has cleared the nominees. the next move is senator reid will put at least one of them up for a vote. if the republicans block the vote, he will need to go to the floor and say we're changing the rules. if the democrats can't do that what are they in business for? larry cohen , thank you very much. that's "the ed show" join us tomorrow night right here at 5:00 eastern.

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