In the Senate. Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he’s giving Republicans 24 to 36 hours to come to the table, and agree on some sort of filibuster reform. But, he said, if Republicans don’t do it – then he’ll proceed on his own. Democrats will fight to change the rules of the Senate, and curb some of the obstructionism we’ve seen over the last four years in the upper chamber.
Reid must choose between two options for filibuster reform. There’s an ambitious reform plan, promoted by Senators Jeff Merkley and Tom Udall, which would put in place a “talking filibuster” - requiring the minority to stand on the floor of the Senate, and actually talk the entire time they wish to filibuster legislation. And there’s a more moderate reform plan, which preserves the minority’s silent filibuster, but cuts down on how many times they can filibuster a particular piece of legislation.
While most progressive organizations have endorsed the Merkley-Udall “talking filibuster” reform, it’s unlikely Senator Reid has the votes among Democrats to pass such plan – and he will likely settle on a more moderate approach. But, if Democrats want to sweep the midterm elections in two years, and re-take the House of Representatives, then they have to pass legislation out of the Senate, and show the American people their agenda, and how it differs from the agenda of House Republicans. Strong filibuster may be the only way to accomplish this.
Call your Senator today – and tell them to support the Merkley-Udall “talking filibuster” reform.
Listen to The Thom Hartmann Program Monday through Friday 3 PM to 6 PM on WWRL AM 1600.