U.S. Senate: Filibuster Reform
Because of the 2012 election outcome we now have enough votes to pass filibuster reform in the Senate. There is a narrow window of opportunity for this to happen in early January 2013, but it will require political will to get the job done.
We need to let our Senators know how important we feel this reform is. Please sign this petition immediately and then share it. We have less than two months to send a message to the Senate.
The filibuster is an essential tool, but it has been seriously abused and is in need of reform. The burden should fall on those employing the tactic. Instead, the burden has gradually shifted to the Senate majority seriously impairing their ability to legislate effectively.
Progressives' job number one in 2012 is to first repair the broken infrastructure of our government which has been subject to abuse for too long by extremist politics. Filibuster reform is a good first step in that direction.
"Fili-what", you ask?
In the film 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington', Jefferson Smith was running out the clock to prevent bad legislation from going through. The filibuster is a legal way to obstruct a vote in the Senate, but as you can see, it comes at great cost since the speaker must stand and continue to talk without leaving the room for however long it takes to prevent a vote. These days it takes 60 votes to override a filibuster, not always the case, so, if there are not enough votes and a filibuster is threatened, the vote is automatically tabled to avoid the delay of an actual filibuster. The minority party has been voting as a block and last year threatened to filibuster over a hundred bills, leading to a do nothing congress. So, in contrast to Mr. Smith, the minority party is ruling the Senate without uttering a word. This is abuse that has to stop and can be accomplished by changing the Senate rules. Enough Senators have to sign on in order for this to happen. So please sign this petition and contact your Senators so we can get things done.
From: Citizens supporting filibuster reform
Dear Senator Reid,
As Senate Majority Leader we urge you to proceed in reforming the filibuster rule in order to allow the Senate to function more effectively. We believe that the filibuster is an essential tool but that the burden should fall on those employing the tactic rather than on the Senate majority.
Please convey our support for this reform to the entire Senate. Thank you.