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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:41 AM

Senator Levin hasn't decided on filibuster reform yet

I read an article saying there wasn't enough votes in the Senate yet to push thru filibuster reform when the Senate convenes this January even though Dems will have the majority. Senator Stabenow is on record as supporting reforms and I wrote to her office asking her to stand firm. I called Senator Levin's D.C. office and was told by the staffer who answered that the Senator hasn't released a statement yet letting know where he stands. I asked the person to pass on the message that I urge him to seriously consider joining others, such as Senator Jeff Merkley, in reforming the rules governing the use of the filibuster.

I ask other DUers who are residents of Michigan to do the same. To call/e-mail Senator Levin and also to call/e-mail Senator Stabenow's office thanking her for her efforts at reforming the use of the filibuster.

This is what I wrote:

"Dear Senator Levin,

I urge you to join other Senators such as Senator Jeff Merkley and stand firm with them in reforming the rules concerning the use of the filibuster when the Senate convenes this coming January. Far too often important legislation is held up with little effort by a member of the minority party.

Thank you.

xxx xxxxx"

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Reply Senator Levin hasn't decided on filibuster reform yet (Original post)
Kaleva Nov 2012 OP
navarth Nov 2012 #1
Kaleva Nov 2012 #2
Kaleva Nov 2012 #3
Kaleva Dec 2012 #4

Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:00 PM

1. Thanks,

I'll call. I've called Carl's office before, it was interesting because the fellow that took my 'recommendation' asked me why I felt that way and I took the time to make a quick advocation. It will be interesting to find if the same thing happens here.

My memory is that Carl voted the right way when I called last time, I'm betting he will this time too. That's why I voted for him.

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Response to navarth (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:37 PM

2. Thank you for calling!

I really ought to write and call more often on a number of issues. It was, to me, kind of exciting to be calling a Senator's office in Washington D.C. even if I did just talk to a hard working staffer.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:55 PM

3. E=mail I got from Senator Stabenow's office

"Dear xxx,



Thank you for contacting me about your support for changing the Standing Rules of the Senate. I agree with you that increased transparency and efficiency in our legislative process will better serve the public interest.

As you may know, in January of 2011, the Senate held extensive debate on changing some of the rules on how bills are debated. I supported resolutions that would have lowered the threshold to end a filibuster as well as speed up the debate time for bills on the Senate floor. While I support the rights of the minority party, I believe the American people deserve the right to have the issues they care about brought up for debate and a vote. Unfortunately, these resolutions were not able to pass the Senate.



I also voted for two bills that make rule changes, which passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. One eliminates the need to read amendments if they have already been posted online or in the Congressional Record for 72 hours. The other puts an end to the so-called "secret hold." Previously, a single Senator could obstruct and delay bills from ever coming to the floor. I was pleased to join so many of my colleagues to end this type of obstacle so the Senate can move forward to pass important legislation.



Thank you again for contacting me. Please continue to keep me informed about issues of concern to you and your family.



Sincerely,

Debbie Stabenow

United States Senator"

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 03:30 PM

4. Senator Levin is a co-sponser of a watered down reform bill

markpkessinger has given permission to use his letter in full or as a guide if one wants to e-mail Senator Levin:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2096992

Here is my version which I e-mailed this morning:

"Dear Senator Levin,

Having just read the details of the proposed filibuster "reform" bill introduced by you and Senator McCain (and some others), I disagree with it. For the past four years, despite Democrats having won the White House and having retained a majority in the Senate, a minority party has been able to block bill after bill and nominee after nominee. The bill you have proposed merely adds a few additional burdens to those wishing to filibuster legislation or executive and judicial branch nominees. But the actual ability to filibuster is the thing that needs to be seriously curtailed in the interest of enabling the electorate to express its will while at the same time having a reasonable expectation that such electoral will would be honored.

Any meaningful filibuster reform MUST include ALL of the following if it is to be considered to be at all serious: (1) Eliminate the ability to filibuster the motion to proceed; (2) Require that those wishing to block legislation or nominations take the floor and actually filibuster—i.e., mandating “talking filibusters”; (3) Assert that 41 Senators must affirmatively vote to continue debate rather than forcing 60 Senators to vote to end debate; and, (4) Streamline the confirmation process for all nominees by eliminating the currently required 30 hours of post cloture debate on a nominee to zero or at a minimum no more than 2 hours.

Thank you.

XXX XXXX"

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