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Thu May 2, 2013, 11:40 AM

Merkley: The Experiment Has Failed, We Need Filibuster Reform Now

Jeff Merkley Escalates Push For Filibuster Reform

SAHIL KAPUR MAY 2, 2013, 10:23 AM

The Senate’s leading supporter of filibuster reform is back at it, declaring in an email to supporters late Wednesday that the modest rules changes enacted this January has “failed” and that real reform is urgently needed.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is teaming up with the liberal advocacy group Democracy For America to build public awareness of filibuster abuse and court supporters for reform.

“It’s now clear the experiment has failed. The Senate remains broken,” Merkley wrote to supporters. “Senate Republicans continue to force delays — even on bills with overwhelming public support, and even on nominees widely considered well-qualified.”

“Please join me and Democracy for America - and put yourself on record at FixTheFilibuster.com: We can’t wait any longer to make the Senate work.”

full article
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/05/jeff-merkley-filibuster-reform-email.php?ref=fpb

9 replies, 1087 views

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Reply Merkley: The Experiment Has Failed, We Need Filibuster Reform Now (Original post)
DonViejo May 2013 OP
BlueCaliDem May 2013 #1
richardmathews May 2013 #7
hrmjustin May 2013 #8
BlueCaliDem May 2013 #2
brooklynite May 2013 #3
Bluenorthwest May 2013 #4
brooklynite May 2013 #5
Addison May 2013 #9
MurrayDelph May 2013 #6

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 11:44 AM

1. Here's the link to the petition:

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #1)

Thu May 2, 2013, 06:11 PM

7. Petition to Reid

We need to put pressure on Reid to bring real filibuster reform to a vote.

Pledge to avoid Nevada until he does so. Take your travel dollars somewhere else.
http://signon.org/sign/boycott-nevada-to-get

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Response to richardmathews (Reply #7)

Thu May 2, 2013, 09:06 PM

8. Welcome to DU my friend!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 11:53 AM

2. Also this from the article:

Senate Democrats have the option to weaken the filibuster at any time with 51 votes, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has repeatedly threatened to use that “nuclear option” if Republicans don’t stop blocking presidential nominees. Hardly any Democrats have publicly ruled out using that option to fix the Senate. But behind the scenes, despite anger at the GOP now, there is concern that weakening the filibuster could come back to haunt them when Republicans return to power and, for instance, seek to weaken abortion rights.
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/05/jeff-merkley-filibuster-reform-email.php?ref=fpb
{bold is mine}

Congressional Democrats need to understand that if NOTHING gets done because of the Repuglicans' penchant for filibustering anything that doesn't benefit the wealthy and corporations, people will get hurt and they will get furious. They'll either stay home or skip voting for Democrats altogether, and that would make the Congressional Democrats' fear of a Republican return to power a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It's far better to get as much done as quickly as we can NOW and benefit the majority of people in this country who vote, rather than do nothing and give them the impression that their vote doesn't count, nothing gets done, and discourage voting in the future. Not everyone is into politics. Most just want good paying jobs and to provide for their families. This can be the reason why the largest voter turn out only happens during presidential elections, not mid-terms or special elections. People still believe that the president is a king or a dictator who can command Congress to do his bidding and they put their hopes on him, not knowing it's actually the other way around - Congress, not the WH, is the most powerful branch of our three cor-equal branch of government.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:13 PM

3. Sorry,but -- DON'T sign the petition

We have the same problem as before...how do you reach Baucus, Pryor, Levin and the other Dems who didn't support reform back in January?

Setting aside the fact that online petitions are a huge wast of time and a feel-good exercise for the participants, how is lobbying from a liberal group like DFA going to influence Blue Dogs?

I think they are reachable, but its going to take direct pressure. Write you OWN LETTER/EMAIL and send it to them explaining in your own words why filibusters reform is still necessary. And for those who, like me, provide financial report, let them and DSCC know that opposition to filibuster reform means they'll be cut off from your checkbook.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #3)

Thu May 2, 2013, 02:49 PM

4. Why would it be a binary choice? Why not petition and write directly?

Why discourage activity called for by a Democratic Senator, my Senator in fact? Nothing is stopping you or anyone else from cutting off checks, which are written by many many people.
But why say 'don't sign'? That's just so self serving.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #4)

Thu May 2, 2013, 03:49 PM

5. Because I think it keeps people from engaging in more productive efforts

It's easy to "vote" online, and its easy to "sign" a petition, and 99% of the signers DON'T follow-up with direct contact or pressure, but still feel they're done their part.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #5)

Fri May 3, 2013, 07:06 PM

9. Fair enough point

It takes a little more effort to send a direct letter, but has a lot more impact.

Still, something is better than nothing.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #3)

Thu May 2, 2013, 04:08 PM

6. I won't sign the petition, but I HAVE spoken to my Senator on the subject

but since my Senator IS Merkley, I don't have to worry about where he stands on the issue.

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