Monday, December 17, 2012

Effort underway to reform filibuster rules in U.S. Senate

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Action is heating up by a coalition of "progressive" groups - including unions, Common Cause and the Sierra Club - to reform U.S. Senate filibuster rules to end the gridlock it causes in Washington. Fix the Senate Now outlines its case here.

Approval of legislation and judicial confirmation has slowed to a crawl. To fix that, the group proposes:

* Eliminate the ability to filibuster the motion to proceed;

* Require that those wishing to block legislation or nominations take the floor and actually filibuster — i.e., mandating “talking filibusters”;

* Assert that 41 Senators must affirmatively vote to continue debate rather than forcing 60 Senators to vote to end debate; and,

* Streamline the nomination process so that nominees will get a yes or no vote on the Senate floor, including a reduction of the required 30 hours of post cloture debate on a nominee to 2 hours.

Sounds reasonable. Reasonable isn't much in fashion these days, however.

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