Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vote on Filibuster Rules Today

 I received a note from Oregon’s Junior Senator, Jeff Merkley, this morning. Apparently, the vote on changing the filibuster rules is today. Since the Republicans are using the very rules Merkley and 53 Democratic Senators are trying to change to prevent an up or down vote, 67 votes will be required. That makes me mad and I hope it does you too. I thought you should see Merkley’s letter:
Dear Milo,

You know that the Senate is broken, and I'm so grateful for your support in fighting to fix it. The consistent abuse of the filibuster is outrageous.

Senator Udall and I have been immersed in persuading our colleagues to support real reforms that will fix the broken Senate. We have 29 co-sponsors on our reform bill. All 53 Democratic Senators have signed a letter agreeing that the status quo is simply unacceptable. And 200,000 Americans agree, signing petitions urging reform.

Now, thanks in large part to your advocacy, a package of rules changes will get a vote today, including our common sense proposals to fix the filibuster.

In the few hours left before the vote, I'll be doing everything I can to convince my colleagues from both parties to bring transparency and accountability to the Senate by making filibustering Senators hold the floor. This is about replacing the current “silent” filibuster with the “talking” filibuster.” If 41 Senators say they want additional debate, then we will have that debate!

This will strip away the frivolous filibusters that are currently paralyzing the Senate. And it will make the Senate filibuster transparent and accountable to the American citizens. Americans can watch and weigh in on whether a Senator is a hero or a bum.

We all know that change doesn't come easy.

The bottom line is that Senate Republicans are using the very rules we're trying to change to block us from a straight-up or down vote, so we'll need 67 votes to pass tough reforms rather than the 51 provided for in the Constitution.I don't know if we will succeed today. But I can assure you, your support has moved us further than anyone thought possible in a short time. And regardless of what happens today, I'm determined to keep fighting, as long as it takes. I hope that you will fight with me down to the wire.Every previous effort to change the rules has taken repeated attempts over many years. Like you, I'd like to get results sooner, but I'm not going to give up.I'm confident you'll be right there with me, fighting to make this country a better place.
I hope you take note of how your Senators vote today and let them know what you thought about their vote.
- Milo

No comments: