The politics of the filibuster were on vivid display Thursday when Senate Republicans used the filibuster to block President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense.
When a political party’s in the majority, it wants to change the filibuster… until it falls from power and winds up the minority. Then it suddenly becomes the filibuster’s biggest supporter.Bill says such hypocrisy “has cost the Congress its standing in public respect and cost our democracy the capacity to address the problems that threaten to overwhelm us.”
But hope of resurrecting the Senate’s noble purpose by reforming the filibuster is being championed by a diverse group of organizations and activists, including The Democratic Initiative and Fix the Senate Now. They want to take the filibuster, which can now be easily and quietly activated, and restore its original, public use (Think Mr. Smith or Mr. Sanders). Time is not on their side, however. Unless the Senate reforms the filibuster at the beginning of the new 113th Congress — that’s as soon as next Tuesday, January 22 — the minority wrecking crew remains in charge for the next two years.
See four suggestions below to make your opinion loud and clear. Learn even more by watching Bill’s conversation with union leader Larry Cohen this weekend.
As Bill says, “End the silence. Speak up now. But do it quickly — the clock’s ticking.”
A Filibuster Reform To-Do List:
1. Contact your senator to tell him or her that you support filibuster reform and the end of the silent filibuster. Calling 1-888-717-0911 will connect you automatically based on where you call from. You can also find Senate contact information here. Or call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (202-224-3542) or Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ( 202-224-2541) directly, and tell them where you stand.
2. Share graphics on your Facebook timeline letting your friends know that you support filibuster reform. Download graphics made by Fix the Senate Now at their website.
3. Follow #FixtheSenate tweets and send your own tweet with your position on the issue. Also, tweet any interactions or contact efforts you had with senators.
4. Link to or embed Fix the Senate Now’s YouTube video.