Fix The Dysfunctional Senate

Originally posted at Communications Workers of America.

The American people need to demand that the majority have rules that mean that key issues of the day are discussed — not buried.

I appeared on NewsTalk, a Washington, D.C., public affairs television show, on Tuesday to discuss how the Senate filibuster is undermining democracy.

CWA and progressive allies like Sierra Club, United Auto Workers, Common Cause, NAACP and more, are working for real reform of the Senate rules. Right now it takes 60 votes for the Senate to do anything, turning the country’s great deliberative body into a dysfunctional mess. Read more at www.fixthesenatenow.com.

Here’s how a simple majority of senators (at least 51 votes) can change the rules on the first day of the new Congress:

  1. End the filibuster on the motion to proceed. Currently, a single senator can block Senate discussion of critical issues.
  2. Require Senators who want to filibuster a bill to have 40 other Senators with them. The current rules put all of the burden on the majority, it’s time that those who want to hold up debate prove they have the votes.
  3. Streamline the process for approving judicial nominations and executive branch appointments.

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