Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Save the Senate Filibuster (for special occasions)

From Senator Elizabeth Warren today:

What did the filibuster cost in the past two years?
  • We had a majority to vote for three jobs bills.
  • We had a majority to vote for the DREAM Act.
  • We had a majority to vote for campaign finance reform.
  • We had a majority to vote for equal pay for equal work.
Every one of these laws was stopped dead by the filibuster.
Let's be clear: The reforms don't eliminate the filibuster. Instead, they just make it necessary for someone to stand and talk through their objections -- out in plain view for everyone to see.
The reforms are about making the filibuster an extraordinary measure rather than a routine no-business-gets-done. 
We need to put an end to the aggressive obstruction that has paralyzed the Senate. 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.
The measure under consideration is a simple proposition that ends the ability of any senator to anonymously stop a Senate action from even being discussed. It doesn't reduce senators' right to speak up for what they believe, it just means they have to actually speak up, not just phone in their undisclosed objection.

If you agree this sounds like a reasonable idea, tell your two senators this week. You can find their contact information at Senate.gov.

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