Filibuster Reform Support Still Short of a Majority in the Senate

By: Tuesday November 13, 2012 3:30 pm

With the expectation of a series of new cabinet appointments (though not Attorney General, apparently) comes the expectation of a number of bruising nomination fights on the floor of the Senate. In particular, Senate Republicans seem to want to collect a scalp if UN Ambassador Susan Rice gets nominated to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. They blame Rice for providing false information about the attack on the consulate in Benghazi.

Republicans may or may not have the muscle to get this done. But they certainly would not if Democrats simply ended the undemocratic, extra-Constitutional super-majority Senate through changes to the rules process.


Jeff Merkley on Senate Reform: “There’s a problem that has to be addressed”

By: Tuesday May 15, 2012 2:10 pm

Sen. Jeff Merkley was pleased that the Majority Leader was coming around to his way of thinking on the filibuster. “It felt good that the Majority Leader publicly declared that there’s a problem that has to be addressed,” Merkley said. “It’s been a continuous affliction of the minority blocking debate on legislation.” But will anything be fixed?

Reid: Senate Rules Reform Proponents Were Right

By: Friday May 11, 2012 10:00 am

Shorter Harry Reid: Sorry I fought filibuster reform, you were all right.

Sunday Late Night: Questions for Senator Jeff Merkley?

By: Sunday February 20, 2011 8:01 pm

I don’t know exactly what tomorrow’s meet-and-greet format will be, so I’m not sure how many chances I’ll get to ask questions of the Senator. But if you had a chance to ask a question tomorrow, what would you ask? I’ll try to get the answers and bring them back in a MyFDL post later this week.

Thanks, the floor is yours.

Senate Rules Changes Slipping Away As Media Dissembles

By: Monday January 24, 2011 6:05 am

Paul Kane has a piece in Sunday’s Washington Post that seems to be the kind of take on the Senate rules reform fight you’d expect someone who hasn’t been following it at all and gets most of his information from lobbyists. He accepts the contributions of senior Senate aides that the effort led by some Democrats to change the Senate rules will fail because “party leaders want to protect the right of the Senate’s minority party to sometimes force a supermajority of 60 votes to approve legislation.” But of course, the rules changes on the table would still allow that right. This confusion may indeed sink the Merkley/Harkin/Udall effort, but it’s a willful confusion.

With Some Dems Nervous About Any Changes, Senate Rules Reform to Be Tweaked

By: Wednesday January 19, 2011 8:40 am

Sen. Jeff Merkley acknowledged that one component of the consensus plan on Senate rules reform put together by him, Tom Udall and Tom Harkin would probably get tweaked, and that the biggest concern for skittish Democratic lawmakers was changing the rules at all, lest they be changed on them when Republicans take over. Which is kind of an amazing commentary on the state of the Democratic Party, when you think about it.

Filibuster Reform Coalition Creaking with a Week to Go

By: Tuesday January 18, 2011 7:54 am

A week from today, the Senate will reconvene, and the first item of business will be how to deal with the rules for the 112th Congress. Three Senators – Tom Udall, Jeff Merkley and Tom Harkin – will spearhead an effort to change the Senate rules that would attempt to achieve two goals – 1) make it faster to complete legislation and confirmations on which there is broad agreement, and 2) make it harder for obstructionists to carry out filibusters, or at least to make it opaque who is doing the filibustering and why.

Twenty-six Co-Sponsors for Senate Rules Reform; Ben Nelson Walks Back Opposition

By: Thursday January 6, 2011 6:00 pm

Senators Tom Udall, Jeff Merkley and Tom Harkin have announced that their proposal for reforming the Senate rules now has 26 co-sponsors, all Democrats. But they represent a healthy ideological cross-section of the entire caucus.

Ben Nelson’s spokesman seriously walked back his opposition today.

Udall-Merkley-Harkin Senate Rules Reform Package Released

By: Wednesday January 5, 2011 10:30 am

Tom Udall has released the Senate rules reform package that he will introduce today for a vote, which he believes he can get passed with a simple majority. It includes most of the features that had been bandied about throughout the last couple weeks.

Senate Rules Reform Package Taking Shape

By: Thursday December 30, 2010 9:50 am

When I spoke with Jeff Merkley a couple weeks ago about Senate rules reform, he conceded that the Democratic caucus would have to arrive at a consensus set of rules before they would be able to hold together as a caucus and use the Constitutional option to change the rules by majority vote on January 5, the first day of the new Congress. That consensus has begun to take hold, and it comes in three parts, according to Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), who is leading the effort.

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