July Pillow Talk

Posted By: Perry Pillow Legislative Updates,

We are halfway through our year-long look at Advocacy by the Numbers. Last month, we looked at the twenty-somethings:  school districts within AATC’s service area. This month, we examine the All or 60 votes in the United States Senates.

The US Senate has many nicknames:  World’s Most Deliberative Body; Millionaire’s Club; Upper House; Smoke-Filled Room; etc. none of which speak to efficiency nor effectiveness.  The US Senate by rule and custom is slow-moving—painfully slow.

The ponderous, plotting pace of the Senate is exacerbated by the requirement for unanimous consent (All) and use of the filibuster (60). Imagine how hard it is for you and your best friend to pick a restaurant for lunch. Now imagine a mixture of 100 of your friends, acquaintances, and enemies having to pick a restaurant – and the choice had to be unanimous – you would probably starve! 

This need for consensus on every issue big and small is the hallmark of the Senate. A senator may request unanimous consent to set aside a specified rule of procedure to expedite proceedings. If no Senator objects, the Senate permits the action, but if one senator objects, the request is rejected. Unanimous consent requests with only immediate effects are routinely granted, but ones affecting the floor schedule, the conditions of considering a bill or other business, or the rights of other senators, are normally not offered, or a floor leader will object to it, until all senators concerned have had an opportunity to inform the leaders that they find it acceptable 

Unanimous means unanimous – all 100.  If one senator disagrees, then the Senate cannot move forward. In addition to the requirement for unanimous consent, the filibuster is often deployed to slow down consideration.  A filibuster is an attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive action. It requires 60-votes to defeat a filibuster. 

To end a filibuster, the Senate uses cloture which limits consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours, but only by vote of three-fifths of the full Senate, normally 60 votes.

The need to achieve 60 votes prevents adverse legislation from becoming law and ensures that a broad spectrum of perspectives are considered 

AATC ENDORSED CANDIDATES WIN JUNE RUN-OFF ELECTIONS – AATC PAC-endorsed, mayoral candidates Mattie Parker (Fort Worth) and Jim Ross (Arlington) won their June 5th municipal run-off elections.  Parker received 54% of the vote and Ross won with 55%. AATC PAC-supported, Arlington council district 3 candidate Nikkie Hunter (56%) also won her June 5th contest.  Unfortunately, AATC PAC-backed, friends and long-serving Fort Worth city council members Jungus Jordan and Kelly Allen Gray lost their run-off re-election bids.  Jared Williams (50.9%) narrowly defeats Jordan for the southwest Fort Worth district 6 seat and Chris Nettles (52%) beat Gray for the east Fort Worth district 8 seat. AATC PAC-endorsed candidate Eric Owens (46%) lost the run-off for the open Euless Place 6 city council seat. Other races of significance include, Leonard Firestone (56%) winning the Fort Worth city council district 7 open seat and Elizabeth Beck (62%) winning the open city council district 9 seat. Fort Worth will have 5 new council members:  Parker, Beck, Firestone, Nettles, & Williams.  Arlington will have three:  Ross, Boxhall (elected May 1), & Hunter.  AATC looks forward to working with these elected officials to build strong partnerships.

BUSINESS EXCHANGE – Owner/operator and supplier registration is underway for the Supplier registration opened July 1 for the 2019 Business Exchange presented by Lowes Pro Supply on August 10th from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the Irving Convention Center (500 West Las Colinas Boulevard, Irving, TX 75039).

To register, go to: https://www.aatcnet.org/events/aatcaagd-business-exchange

As usual, supplier partners must be members of both AATC and AAGD to attend. It is $430 per supplier attendee; limit four attendees per supplier company.  Payment is only by personal credit card – no corporate/company credit cards allowed. No one will be admitted without prior payment; no shows will be charged, and no walk-ins will be accepted. Cancellations must be confirmed by August 6 - No refunds after the cancellation date. 

For additional information on AATCs advocacy initiatives, go to www.aatcnet.org/advocacy or reach out to the association's director of government affairs, Perry Pillow at ppillow@aatcnet.org