Posted on December 19, 2012
For too many years, senators have been using a more problematic version of the filibuster rule – a procedural tool meant to ensure the minority party could extend debate on a piece of legislation to obstruct Congress, create gridlock, and paralyze progress. We think it’s time to end this destructive practice.
Under the current, broken system, senators do not even have to stand on the floor of the Senate to block a bill or an appointment confirmation. Meaning, the Senators do not have to publicly voice their opposition--does that sound like democracy? If a majority of the Senate approves of a piece of legislation, the rules also specify a sixty vote super majority is needed to end a filibuster.
Taken together, the filibuster has enabled one or two senators to completely halt progress on jobs, the economy, immigration reform, and criminal justice matters – all issues deeply important to you and members of our community – and 101 federal judicial vacancies have yet to be voted on—without knowing who they are.
This is just plain wrong. We can do something about it. When the next Congress takes office, they have only one opportunity to reform the filibuster. Are we going to stand by and watch another two years without action?