Filibuster Reform

Only 25% of the American people know what a filibuster is. Source

A filibuster is procedure used excessively by the Senate in recent years where one Senator can hold up a vote on a proposal. Currently, the one member can obstruct in this way indefinitely unless there’s a “supermajority” of 60 Senators that tell him or her to shut up by invoking cloture.

The problem lies in the currently loose nature of the filibuster rules. A senator can simply say “I object” and go home as Ezra Klein describes. He or she is not required to stand on the floor of the senate continuously arguing against the vote on the proposal.

Every two years, the Senate (and the House) have to agree on a new set of rules. Traditionally, very few changes are made to the rules. But this time around, the Democrats are trying to push through slight improvements. The key change in my mind would be forcing Senators to actually talk on the floor as part of the filibuster. The result of this is that they will speak their mind for the cameras, publicly representing the details of their opposing argument for the media and the American people to judge. More accountability is always a good thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *