Some Democrats stand in the way of filibuster reform

Senate Majority Leader Reid does not seem willing to support the Udall-Merkley filibuster reform plan, which would require Senators who want to filibuster a bill to actually hold the floor and speak like in the old days. Nor will he support the 41 vote proposal which puts the burden of keeping a filibuster going by forcing the filibustering Senators to pull 41 votes together. Right now, to break a filibuster, 60 votes are needed. As the proponents of legislation try to round up the 60 votes, the Senators carrying on the filibuster can stay home. 

Both proposals don’t end the filibuster but make it more burdensome, thus presumably making Senators more reluctant to block legislation that has the support of a majority of the Snate.

Reid appears to be acting at the behest of many of his Democratic colleagues. They are worried about not having the filibuster if the Democrats are in the minority again. The argument is not entirely wrong. One could certainly imagine a circumstance some time from now in which 48 Democratic Senators filibustered a repeal of the ACA which is supported by a Republican President and House. But this stance shows a lot less confidence in our party and ideals and most importantly democracy (with a small d) than we Democrats should have. I’m confident that as long as Republicans are as radical as they are today we will hold the Senate and the Presidency (and will eventually overcome the redistricted House and win that too.) And, as I’ve explained before, the filibuster we have today is not only undemocratic, it is unconstitutional.

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