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Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:40 AM

Warren argues strongly for filibuster reform: “I haven’t counted 51 just yet, but we’re working"

Elizabeth Warren Democratic Senator-elect from Massachusetts

The First Week in January

On the first day of the new session in January, the senators will have a unique opportunity to change the filibuster rule with a 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.

I'm joining Senator Jeff Merkley and six other newly elected senators to pledge to lead this reform on Day One, and I hope you'll be right there with us. Our campaign didn't end on Election Day -- and I'm counting on you to keep on working each and every day to bring real change for working families. This is the first step.

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“I haven’t counted 51 just yet, but we’re working,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a leading proponent of the so-called constitutional or “nuclear” option, in which Senate rules could be changed by a majority vote.

“We’re building the momentum right now,” Udall said. “It’s hard to say at this point, but I think it’s looking very good. The last two years have really helped coalesce people’s minds around the idea that we need to change the way we do business.”


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more:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-warren/filibuster-reform_b_2136800.html
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/15/1161918/-Warren-argues-strongly-for-filibuster-reform

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:41 AM

1. My prediction? Harry Reid stymies any meaningful filibuster reform.

"But we need 60 votes!" is too good an excuse to give up.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:20 PM

7. Which is why it is our turn to get the President and Liz's backs and kick Reid's tush a bit.

He needs to hear from us.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:51 AM

2. i still see democrats being the first victims of filibuster reform.

the filibuster doesn't much matter when conrgess is divided. the house can always block anything senate republicans don't like.

my fear is that the next likely single-party control of congress may well be republicans after the 2016 elections. THEN, filibuster matters, and democrats will be cast into the wilderness without it.

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Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:18 AM

3. The filibuster is important, reform if it comes, will be aimed at ending it's abuse

rather than eliminating it.

Making it a bit more demanding on those who would abuse it by requiring control of the floor is an option that keeps it available, but requires broader support than one intransigent teahadist to keep it going.





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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:35 AM

4. the problem is they did away with that in 1975 because it was turning the senate into a joke

and of course they've since found other ways of turning into a joke.

having a senator read from a phone book on the floor in order to grind all senate business to a halt would certainly cut down on abuse, but when it does happen, it would make for the kind of ridiculous media coverage they decided to avoid nearly four decades ago.


one thought might be that the majority can call for cloture at any point, meaning that at least 41 filibustering senators would need to stay in the senate in order to maintain the filibuster. not holding the floor, necessarily, but physically being there. i don't think that's the case at the moment. that sort of "sit-in" filibuster wouldn't make for silly tv coverage the way reading from the phone book would.


i suppose i'm showing my age as "reading from the phone book" is standard in talking about filibusters, but phone books are rapidly becoming a think of the past.

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Response to unblock (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 02:24 PM

8. I have no problem with anything that keeps the filibuster, but also carries a burden

Representative government simply cannot function with the filibuster being abused hundreds of times in each Congress for the sole purpose of radical factions obstructing government.


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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:41 AM

5. thanks, Pete. Signed and forwarded.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:18 PM

6. I wonder if People for the American Way still has their rapid response setup

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