Filibuster Reform-NOW

Forcing filibusterers to talk is an eminently sensible reform that both honors the Senate's traditions and respects democracy. If you're the petition-signing sort, you can sign on to the petition sponsored by, among others, Senator Elizabeth Warren, at this link. - promoted by david

The Times had a great editorial advocating for common sense filibuster reform. The key paragraph is below:

That would squander a moment for change. Supermajorities were never intended to be a routine legislative barrier; they should be reserved for the most momentous bills, and the best way to make that happen is to require that objectors work hard for their filibuster, assembling a like-minded coalition and being forthright about their concerns rather than hiding in the shadows or holding up a bill with an e-mailed note.

It is time, as Lincoln argues in Speilbergs great film-to act ‘NOW!’. We have a small window to ensure the Senate can be an efficient body that cannot be held hostage by a small minority of its members. The Senate is supposed to be the more deliberative house that moderates and cools the haughty tempers of the House of Representatives. The filibuster enables this deliberation and should be linked to important measures and articulated by coalition building members who forcefully argue and debate their positions-not putting on silent holds or stating ‘filibuster’ and then having a cloture vote. This would end the gridlock and enable us to pass progressive legislation in the short term while preserving our right to speak forecfully against regressive justices, nominees, and policies in the future if we are in the minority. But it ends the abuse on all sides. Time to proceeed Mr. Reid!


12 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Before I get pounced

    When I said

    it ends the abuse on all sides

    that was a figure of speech. Obviously the GOP is solely responsible for this nearly three year impasse in the Senate.

  2. Two online petitions to sign *right now*!

    I got these from an email from Sen. Jeff Merkley:

    The stakes are high for America. We need to rebuild our economy by creating middle-class jobs, tackle global climate change and rein in polluters, hold Wall Street accountable, reform our broken campaign finance system, and bring our troops home. What’s standing in the way of our progressive agenda? The abuse of the filibuster.

    As a young man, I was an intern for Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon. Back then, I watched how Senators – of both parties – would come together to work on solutions that made a difference in real people’s lives. They didn’t always agree on what the solutions should be, but they made their best case and then took votes.

    Today, our politics are broken – and part of that is the abuse of the filibuster, which makes it nearly impossible for legislation to move forward. It empowers those who would obstruct the process, and discourages those who are working to solve problems.

    We’re closer than ever before to reforming the filibuster. Thank you for joining this cause by being one of 427,186 Americans to sign our petition at calling on the Senate to end the silent filibuster.

    Our fight for reform comes to a head this week. We are so close to finally fixing the filibuster so we can have a fighting shot at moving President Obama’s agenda forward – but I need your help to make sure every progressive across America lends their voice to this critical effort.

    Please forward this email to five of your friends, and share on Facebook right now – let’s build momentum to end the silent filibuster!

    We can win this fight and make history – together.

    Senator Jeff Merkley

  3. Front page request?

    Given that time is of the essence, BMG can really help make this happen by front-paging this diary.

  4. Why in the name of all that is holy...

    …do we hear that Reid is negotiating with McConnell? For once can’t he say to the GOP, “We’re the majority so sit down and shut up.”?

  5. In the dark about the darkness of the filibuster

    I don’t think the media had done its job in spelling out the cost of Republican’s use of the filibuster.
    Canvassing for EW I often talked about Scott Brown’s participation in the filibuster to keep The Fair Pay Act from coming to floor of the Senate for discussion or vote and same thing for the Disclose Act. The latter is something the vast majority of Americans want and the reason we don’t have it? Filibuster.
    A shocking Republican use of the filibuster is to block judicial nominees because the NRA tells them to do it. Here’s Linda Greenhouse’s column on it:

    Also, Bill Moyers had a great segment on this:

  6. Where is John Kerry?

    Senator Kerry still has not come out in support of Senate Resolution 4, the real reform package put forth by Sen. Merkley and Harkin. He is running out of time to get on board. Vote on reform will likely be sometime next week. Be sure to send him an email, phone his office, and tweet him to cosponsor Res. 4.

    Hey @JohnKerry, Please take a minute to co-sponsor Senate Resolution 4, Senate rules reform legislation. #fixtheSenate

    • Indeed


    • Scratch this week!

      Reid puts his weight behind the use of the constitutional option for filibuster reform. The vote on reform could be by the end of the week, click here. This is a big development because up until this point it seemed unlikely that Reid would pursue the constitutional option.

      Make sure Senator Kerry is on board!

      • Hmm

        I like the 41 vote to maintain a filibuster rather than the 60 to break one, I’d also eliminate cloture votes as they are redundent, and I’d force them at the beggining of the debate. Id merge these ideas with a talking filibuster. My gut is McConnell may go for the 41.

  7. Shafted again?

    It sounds like we have once again bent sent away without even half a loaf. From the limited coverage provided by the media (the Globe falls short again), my read is that Mr. Reid punted rather than insist on a talking filibuster.

    With friends like Mr. Reid, who needs enemies?

« Blue Mass Group Front Page

Add Your Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Tue 28 Mar 7:37 PM