Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fix the filibuster

No matter how much the GOP has abused the filibuster, I still believe it has value and shouldn't be abolished entirely. It's important the minority has an avenue to voice their position on important matters of policy. So how to eliminate the abuse? I'm not the only one who's suggested we simply return to the original format. No more just saying they're going to filibuster and then leaving for a round of golf. Make them stand on the floor and explain their objections to the voters who employed them. And when they run out of things to say, it comes to an up or down vote. Everybody goes on record.

Fortunately, we finally managed to elect some Senators who agree. Anne Laurie passes on an email from her new Senator Elizabeth Warren with a plan to reform the filibuster:
On the first day of the new session in January, the Senate will have a unique opportunity to change the filibuster rule with a simple majority vote, rather than the normal two-thirds vote. The change can be modest: If someone objects to a bill or a nomination in the United States Senate, they should have to stand on the floor of the chamber and defend their opposition. No more ducking responsibility for bringing the work of this country to a dead stop.

I’ve joined Senator Jeff Merkley and four other senators to fight for this reform on Day One. Will you join us? Sign Senator Merkley’s petition now.

Senate Republicans have used the filibuster 380 times since the Democrats took over the majority in 2006. We’ve seen filibusters to block judicial nominations, jobs bills, campaign finance transparency, ending Big Oil subsidies—you name it, there’s been a filibuster.

We’ve seen filibusters of bills and nominations that ultimately passed with 90 or more votes. Why filibuster something that has that kind of support? Just to slow down the process and keep the Senate from working.
It's not an acceptable process. This bill is a simple fix and a good test of Democratic resolve in the Senate. Be good to know who heard the message of 2012, and who didn't. Would love to see the internets get behind it.

[More posts at the Detroit News. Daily art graphics at Last One Speaks.]

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

It's such a good and necessary thing that, like Electoral College reform, the crooks and liars will never let it happen.

11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Maybe we can make them do it, she said optimistically.

2:31:00 PM  

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