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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Call your Senator today to demand Senate rules reform

We've written often about the failure of the United States Senate to confirm judges.  But that failure is part of a wider failure – the failure of the Senate itself, brought on by the unprecedented misuse of arcane rules and procedures by the Republican minority.

Abuse of the filibuster is prolonging the crisis in our federal courts, giving new meaning to the term “obstruction of justice.”

It’s not only judicial nominations that are at stake.   The filibuster has been abused to derail vital legislation, supported by a majority of the American people, and a majority of U.S. Senators, paralyzing progress on jobs, clean energy, workers’ rights, and immigration.

To an extent unprecedented in American history, 60 votes has become the needed threshold for nearly every order of Senate business. Under the current broken system, senators do not even have to stand up and talk to block a bill.  We believe they should be accountable for their actions.

Senators can fix this problem. Call your senators at 1-888-717-0911 and ask them to reform the rules.  Tell your Senators to support reforms that would:

●  Reduce the time for debate on nominations.

●  Require that if Senators want to filibuster, they have to do it the old-fashioned way – stand up and talk.  Now a Senator can derail a bill merely by saying he or she intends to filibuster.

●  Necessitate 41 votes to keep a filibuster going – instead of requiring the majority to muster 60 votes to stop it.

●  Allow only one filibuster per bill – now even the decision to discuss a bill at all, called a motion to proceed, can be filibustered.

When the next Congress takes office in January, the Senate will have one opportunity to reform the rules with a simple majority vote.  We are already gaining extraordinary momentum and are confident with the outcome this time around.  But we can't do it without you!

We need you to join us in a national day of action to support Senate rules reform. Call 1-888-717-0911  today and ask your senators to support reforms that will ensure that they can debate and vote on the critical issues facing our country.

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