Filibuster Reform Uncertainty Worries Proponents

Talking Points Memo has the article Filibuster Reform Uncertainty Worries Proponents.

Filibuster reform is in trouble, proponents warn, at the hands of a scaled-back proposal they say would enhance rather than diminish the Senate minority’s power to obstruct.
Here’s the good news for reformers: they have time to build support for the plan, under which they could push through a rules change with 51 votes on the first day of the new Congress. But the “first day” will technically continue through Jan. 22 because the Senate intends to recess rather than adjourn until then. And Merkley is confident of winning the support of incoming Democratic senators, particularly Elizabeth Warren.

If Reid decides to pursue McCain-Levin instead of the talking filibuster plan, “Senator Merkley will encourage others to vote against the bill,” his aide said. It’s not yet clear that proposal has the super-majority of votes required to pass, but multiple Democratic senators have said there are at least 51 votes for reform.

It is stupid to worry about the Republicans taking advantage of this if they gain the majority in the Senate. If the Democrats can take this power with 51 votes, then even if they don’t take the chance, you know the Republicans will if they ever get a 51 vote majority.

Giving up the chance to reform the filibuster is a guaranteed loser for the Democrats no matter who may win a majority in the future.

If Harry Reid screws this one up, you really have to wonder whose side he is on.  This is our chance to contact every Senator we can think of and put pressure on them to pass real filibuster reform.  If they fail to do so, we know what the next 4 years is going to look like.  This could even seal the fate of the U.S. in the rest of the world.  We will be powerless to act on almost everything.

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