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Mazie Hirono addressing crowd at her primary victory party. 8/11/2012
Sen. Mazie Hirono, during the campaign.
According to The Hill, two newly elected Democratic senators, Mazie Hirono and Heidi Heitkamp, are refusing to explicitly endorse the key element of the Merkley/Udall/Harkin proposal—the talking filibuster.
“She broadly supports the goal of filibuster reform but is reviewing the proposals on the table,” said a spokesman for Hirono.

Heitkamp said, “I’m not sure yet. I haven’t had a chance to get a complete brief.”

Because our endorsement of Mazie Hirono was dependent in large part for her support of effective filibuster reform, Daily Kos followed up with her office to verify this, and got essentially the same statement from a spokesman: "Senator Hirono supports filibuster reform and is still reviewing each of the proposals on the table."

In answering our endorsement questionnaire, Hirono said: "The misuse of the filibuster has become a disgrace in recent years. It has stopped the work of the Senate and been damaging to the institution." There are just a few proposals now on the table and only the Merkley/Udall/Harkin proposals have the potential to end the misuse of the filibuster. The only other option out there right now, not yet introduced as a resolution, is the weak McCain-Levin plan.

All of the other incoming freshman Democrats voice support for the talking filibuster. Even Virginia's Tim Kaine and Indiana's Joe Donnelly, who says that if you want to "declare filibuster [...] [y]ou have to earn it."

Hirono and Heitkamp, by the way, were included in Sen. Jeff Merkley's filibuster reformers group who he endorsed and raised money for in 2012.

Based on our endorsement and fundraising, and certainly Sen. Merkley's, Sen. Hirono needs to stand by her promise of real filibuster reform, and stand by Sen. Merkley. If you were a donor to her campaign, if you're from Hawaii and supported her, you can call her office at (202) 224-6361.

And if you haven't already, tell your Democratic senator to support the Merkley/Udall/Harkin proposal, and vote to make the filibuster a real, talking filibuster.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:07 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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