I wonder how much Republican cooperation they're going to get:
WASHINGTON -- Leaders of the effort to reform the filibuster in the Senate are pushing forward despite the election outcome, working to gather support within the Democratic caucus
WASHINGTON -- Leaders of the effort to reform the filibuster in the Senate are pushing forward despite the election outcome, working to gather support within the Democratic caucus while reaching out to Republicans. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said that he and a core group of members will canvass their colleagues throughout November and December.
"We'll start the informal discussion in our caucus. Are you for reform? What kind of reform?" Udall told HuffPost.
On the first day of the 112th Congress, Udall said, he will rise and make a motion to establish rules for the session, making the argument that the chamber is entitled by the Constitution to set its own rules. Vice President Joe Biden is then expected to rule -- as vice presidents have done in the past -- that the motion is in order. Senate Republicans will challenge the ruling and Democrats will move to table the objection. Only 50 votes will be needed to table the objection. If Democrats succeed, a debate would then begin over how to reform the rules.
Udall said he and newer Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) have been gradually winning support for their effort to reform the rules.
Abolishing the filibuster is far from the only reform under consideration. "You could clear out a lot of the underbrush," said Norm Ornstein, a constitutional scholar who advised Udall on the effort. Currently, after the majority files a cloture motion to break a filibuster, 30 hours of "debate" must happen before the vote. That vote is followed by another 30 hours until the final vote is held, which means a single effort can take a full week of floor time.
That time could be reduced or eliminated -- or split in two 15-hour sections divided among the parties, Ornstein said. Or separate rules could exist for executive branch nominees, alleviating the crisis of understaffing that has beset both administrations since at least 2007.
The Senate is broken so badly due to GOP obstruction that, as Ezra Klein pointed out in the segment above, they're less popular than the idea of the United States becoming a communist country, so hey, why fix anything? Right? It seems Grandpa Read more...
Quietly behind the scenes in the Senate, Democratic senators are working to prepare a package of filibuster-rules reforms, led in particular by Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico.
This morning I sat in on a Read more...
It's not as if we haven't heard Harry Reid make noises about filibuster reform before. But it sure sounds like he's angry enough to actually do something this time:
An angry Harry Reid took to the floor Thursday and demanded changes to the Read more...
We need a political strategy that has at its heart the kind of clear, compelling, accessible messaging on the core economic issues that matter to low and middle income Americans that Elizabeth Warren is so good at projecting. Read more...