Durbin supports Harkin's filibuster reform effort
by desmoinesdem, Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 12:32:24 PM EST
Senator Tom Harkin and Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire introduced a resolution yesterday that would change the Senate's rules on filibusters:
the first vote on a cloture motion — which ends a filibuster — would require 60 votes to proceed, the next would be two days later and require 57. This process would repeat itself until the number fell to 51, or a simple majority.
The idea is to restore the filibuster to its original use (delaying passage of a bill) as opposed to its current use by Republicans (to impose a super-majority requirement for every Senate action). The authors of the Constitution never intended to make the Senate unable to act without the consent of 60 percent of its members. But Republicans used the filibuster more times in 2009 than it was used during the entire period from 1949 to 1970.
However, Senator Dick Durbin supports Harkin's filibuster reform efforts. A "senior leadership aide" told Greg Sargent today that Durbin is "in talks with a number of other Democratic senators regarding possible changes to Senate rules."
Let's hope they come up with something that doesn't require 60 votes. The filibuster has killed too many good ideas coming out of the House of Representatives.
Tags: (all tags)