I’m reading that the Senate’s votes on filibuster reform are likely to happen today. Senator Mark Udall of Colorado has introduced these proposals:
- No filibuster on a motion to proceed: An idea put forth by Senator Michael Bennet and me, this reform has been mentioned for decades with bipartisan support. It would save us time and prevent unnecessary delays by allowing us to begin debating a piece of legislation without obstruction.
- An end to secret holds: Eliminates the practice of one senator objecting on behalf of him- or herself unless he or she discloses the name of the objecting senator. This has been a longstanding problem, especially for judicial nominees.
- Continuous debate for a filibuster: Forces senators who object to proceeding to final passage to continue debate as long as there is pending business. In other words, it forces filibustering senators to actually filibuster.
- Guaranteed amendments for the minority: Protects the right of the minority to file amendments so long as they are germane and have been filed in a timely manner — one of the ideas I put forth in my initial proposal.
- Two hours of post-cloture debate on nominees: Post-cloture debate on nominations has been consistently used to slow down Senate business, which is why I support eliminating or sharply reducing post-cloture debate time on nominations.
Pretty good, all of them, it seems to me.
Earlier this week, I called Senator Kerry’s office, and was told that he supports Udall’s proposals. This morning I called Scott Brown’s office (202-224-4543) to ask the same thing but, as has become a pattern with Brown’s office, they could tell me nothing about Brown’s views. I wanted to know if there were any of Udall’s proposals that he was ambivalent about or had questions about, but all they would say was “I don’t know if Senator Brown has released a position yet”, and were completely not interested in talking about any of the specific proposals.
Would you call too, and see if you can get anything from them?
And let’s see how he votes on these proposals.