Enough of the Filibuster
Perhaps there was a time when the filibuster was an important tool to allow a determined minority to delay and force reflection on problematic legislation. But now? It’s just a way to require more votes to get anything done than the Constitution requires. It’s seriously hurting competent governance. The Senate won’t give an up or down vote on even uncontroversial nominees, which has resulted in a lot of vacant positions.
The new proposal would still permit a classic filibuster where a determined Senator can get up and talk for twenty-four hours. That’s okay. If a couple Senators are so passionate about not doing their jobs that they’re willing to risk hospitalization for exhaustion and/or dehydration … at least it shouldn’t become a habit. And frankly, electoral minorities have more than adequate protection. With the Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate, we won’t see any new laws without some bipartisan support.
If you have a second, give your Senator (or Senator elect) a call and urge him or her to support the proposals to restrict the filibuster. Senators Baucus, Reed, Feinstein, Pryor, Levin, Inouye, Kerry, and Rockefeller are purportedly on the fence right now.