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Sat Jan 19, 2013, 10:59 AM

Filibuster Reform

Bill Moyers Essay: Take Action on Filibuster Reform

Hope of resurrecting the Senate’s noble purpose by reforming the filibuster is being championed by a diverse group of organizations and activists, including The Democratic Initiative and Fix the Senate Now. They want to take the filibuster, which can now be easily and quietly activated, and restore its original, public use (Think Mr. Smith or Mr. Sanders). Time is not on their side, however. Unless the Senate reforms the filibuster at the beginning of the new 113th Congress — that’s as soon as Tuesday, January 22 — the minority wrecking crew remains in charge for the next two years.

Filibuster Reform To-Do List:

1. Contact your senator to tell him or her that you support filibuster reform and the end of the silent filibuster. Calling 1-888-717-0911 will connect you automatically based on where you call from. You can also find Senate contact information here. Or call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (202-224-3542) or Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (202-224-2541) directly, and tell them where you stand.

2. Share graphics on your Facebook timeline letting your friends know that you support filibuster reform. Download graphics made by Fix the Senate Now at their website.

3. Follow #FixtheSenate tweets and send your own tweet with your position on the issue. Also, tweet any interactions or contact efforts you had with senators.

4. Link to or embed Fix the Senate Now's YouTube video.

(Read more: http://billmoyers.com/)
(Read more: http://billmoyers.com/content/take-action-on-filibuster-reform/)
(Read more: http://billmoyers.com/segment/larry-cohen-on-eliminating-the-silent-filibuster/)

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Response to Peaceful Protester (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:07 AM

1. Milestones in Filibuster History

In 2005, Republican senators agreed to prevent filibusters of judicial nominees except under what they termed "extraordinary circumstances." But when the balance of power shifted in 2008, Republican senators began blocking President Barack Obama's judicial nominees.

Then, On December 6, 2012, an extraordinary milestone in filibuster history was reached when Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader, became the first senator to filibuster himself.

McConnell had attempted to force the Democrats, who had a majority in the Senate, to refuse to pass what would have been a politically-costly measure that would nonetheless solve the current ongoing debt ceiling deadlock.

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) elected to call a vote on the proposal, McConnell panicked and immediately invoked the rules regarding filibusters, effectively engaging in the first self-filibuster in Senate history.

If the Senate's history has taught us anything, the rules Republicans operate under undergo a complete transformation when a Democrat wins the Presidency.

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Response to Peaceful Protester (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 01:47 PM

2. Very true about what we can expect from Repukes, which makes me astounded that Reid...

is seeking some 'moderate' version of reducing filibusters. If there is still parts of the rules that require the 60 votes, we can forget about any meaningful legislation. The Republicans are terrible, but our Dems are not much to be proud of.

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Response to dmosh42 (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 02:31 PM

3. Would someone please explain to me why we don't just attempt to do away with the filibuster

completely. And, don't just tell me it's because if the Repubs ever get back in control of the Senate, we would need the filibuster or that we don't have enough Dem votes to get the filibuster ousted.

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Response to ladjf (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 02:50 PM

4. Might be for the same reason that the two Calif senators, and a couple other Dem senators....

wouldn't stand with the rest to make the change. And of course that remains a big secret, because in following the senate, I have come to the conclusion that you're dealing with the biggest crooks in government, although they 'speak' a good game.

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Response to dmosh42 (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 02:59 PM

5. Well, that's what I've been afraid of. However, should they all be put to a vote, we could

find out who the traitors are unless the votes are cast anonymously. nt

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Response to Peaceful Protester (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 03:19 PM

6. I was watching CSPAN in a staffer bar when McConnell did that

Even the Republican staffers burst out laughing.

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Response to Peaceful Protester (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:37 AM

7. Simply the people in California need to call both of their senators and bug them until they say yes

Get them off the fence.

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