Skip to main content

After President Obama wins re-election next week (keep up the hard work!), the U.S. Senate will still be an obstacle to his efforts to meet our big challenges for one simple reason: the routine abuse of the filibuster.

Too often, good ideas die in the Senate – even when they have majority support – because a single Senator can tie up the process and prevent an up-or-down vote.  Not by mounting an impassioned lengthy floor speech, but by making one quick call and then heading out to dinner.

If Senators want to filibuster, they should be required to stand on the floor and make their case to the American people with a real, talking filibuster!

Here's the good news: Our campaign to reform the filibuster is picking up momentum.  These nine candidates running for the Senate right now have committed to helping me fix the broken Senate by reforming the filibuster.

There's less than a week to go. Let's make sure these Filibuster Reformers make it to the U.S. Senate.

Support these nine candidates who are
committed to reforming the filibuster!


Tammy Baldwin
Wisconsin

Rich Carmona
Arizona

Martin Heinrich
New Mexico

Heidi Heitkamp
North Dakota

Mazie Hirono
Hawaii

Tim Kaine
Virginia

Bob Kerrey
Nebraska

Chris Murphy
Connecticut

Elizabeth Warren
Massachusetts
Please join me – make a contribution to some or all of these nine reformers who will work with me to fix the filibuster.

We're almost there!

Senator Jeff Merkley

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you Senator!!! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PZinOR, antooo, Jim H, jan4insight, George3

    And here's to 58 DEMS in the Senate 2012 and a DEM House in 2014 at the latest!

  •  bob kerrey? really? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Jim H, IndieGuy, Ectoras

    that would surprise me, but positively so!

    "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

    by nzanne on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 01:01:19 PM PDT

  •  And of course a number of sitting Senators (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, IndieGuy

    are working for filibuster reform as well, notably my fine senator Tom Udall, D-NM.  

    Looking forward to having Heinrich in the other seat.  Proud of Blue New Mexico!

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 01:10:43 PM PDT

    •  Ditto! Tomorrow I will go early-vote for Heinrich, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp

      along with Pres. Obama, Michelle Lujan-Grisham for House, and all the other Dems in the down ballot races. I am sooo looking forward to it :)

    •  Is there a RELIABLE way (0+ / 0-)

      to find out which sitting senators are supporting this reform?  My guess would be that the two from my state are canceling each other out with Kay Hagan for and Richard "Dick" Burr against (like the lock-step Scarecrow he is).  But I'd like to know for sure.  And I question the value of asking them directly since (Burr in particular) will answer a yes or no question in 500 words with not one of them being "yes" or "no".  Hagan is somewhat better, but I've gotten my share of obfuscation out of her office too.  It's like these people get paid by the word or something.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:45:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What type of Filibuster Reform will we see? (0+ / 0-)

    Will it be weakened so that a simple majority can get things done? Will it cap the number of filibusters that can be issued by any party? I'd love to hear more details about how this reform would take place, and what it will mean for the Senate going forward.

  •  The only way to reform the filibuster (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, IndieGuy, sreeizzle2012

    is to end it.

    •  Mmm... (0+ / 0-)

      No, there's a reason that the filibuster existed in the first place.  In a Senate dominated heavily by one party a bill could be rammed through with minimal debate before the opposition could shore up votes against it.  But in days gone by, you have to be committed enough to actually talk the thing to death if you wanted to kill it.  The "phone-in filibuster" has led to rampant abuse of a tool that was supposed to be used as a weapon of last resort, but has now made it impossible to pass anything without 60 votes.

      It's worth noting that when Republicans held a majority in the Senate, the same tactic was used by Democrats, and the complaints from the other side of the aisle were just as loud then.  It's hard to garner support for reform when both sides know this might be the only thing standing between them and a lot of losses in votes.  But now that it's run its course for a minority in both parties once, it might get some traction.  Unless the Republican caucus filibusters the vote. ;-)

      No matter what happens in terms of filibuster reform, rest assured that Congress will find a way to tie things up in procedure.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:53:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It needs to end in the next Senate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, WineRev

    Obama will have at least 1 SCOTUS appointment - and if we end the filibuster in advance - it will be relatively easy to give Obama broad latitude on his next SCOTUS pick.

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 01:33:57 PM PDT

    •  AS well as (0+ / 0-)

      lower federal court vacancies. It is a crime (of the GOP's making) that dozens of federal judge posts are vacant because of the filibuster abuse by the GOP.

      Shalom.

      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 02:27:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Changing the filibuster rules must be a top (4+ / 0-)

    priority for the next Senate. Thanks.

    Warren is neither a Clintonesque triangulator nor an Obamaesque conciliator. She is a throwback to a more combative progressive tradition, and her candidacy is a test of whether that approach can still appeal to voters.-J. Toobin

    by chuck utzman on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 01:35:50 PM PDT

  •  If no filibuster reform possible and we have 58 (0+ / 0-)

    Dems should go after Snowe- who will get a primary challenger anyway - so she may as well be an Indy like King--

    and Lisa Murkowski- can't be any worse than Ben Nelson, is pro-choice, and if she can be convinced to at least caucus w/Dems on cloture (in exchange for a plum committee or two) we have our 60.

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 01:35:59 PM PDT

  •  Not good enough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, sreeizzle2012

    Forget this "make them stand on the floor" BS that accomplishes nothing.  Come on, you're telling me Mitch McConnell can't force one of the incoming Repub Senators to do exactly that.

    Here's a really easy way to reform the filibuster - get rid of it.

    You well are aware that the Senate can set its own governing rules, and that it just requires a majority vote to establish them for the next Congress.  So just "upperdown" vote the filibuster good bye entirely.

    #RomneyRyan2012: Because one white, rich, male Republican asshole is never enough.

    by mconvente on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 01:58:42 PM PDT

    •  Not sure I agree with that (0+ / 0-)

      Making them stand on the floor is a way of giving the cameras something to record, which means shining light on what they're opposing and the reasons they give for opposing it.

      I'm not afraid of that at all.  We have better arguments, better policies, and a better plan.  The public should get to hear it, especially in this one-speaker-at-a-time way.  The problem with the existing filibuster is that it's invisible, to the point where we get Senate Defeats Measure 42 - 58 type headlines (where 42 is the WINNING side) and no one questions it.

    •  Real filibuster reform (0+ / 0-)

      First, shoot it in the heart with a silver bullet.  Then, stuff its mouth full of garlic, cut off its head, and drive a stake through its heart.  Bury it at the crossroads by the light of the full moon.  Plow the earth above it with salt.  Build a high-level nuclear waste dump above it.  And even then, post guards to keep it dead and in its grave.

      I'm a Democrat first, last, and all the time -- Sgt. Alvin York

      by Egypt Steve on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 08:29:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Finally! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    This is one of the most important structural reforms that need to be accomplished to clear the way for the second term agenda.

    "What everyone wants is a job and some hope."--RFK

    by For Dean in Dixie on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:50:29 PM PDT

  •  I was on a town hall with kaine (0+ / 0-)

    And cici Richards, obviously this was focused to get women engaged...but someone asked the filibuster reform question, and kaine doubled down on his support for it!

    Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

    by totallynext on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 03:57:17 AM PDT

Click here for the mobile view of the site