Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
By nearly every measure, the 112th Congress was the least productive since 1947. 1947!
With so many of the country’s fiscal and other problems to be solved, they passed the fewest number of bills and enacted nearly the fewest laws.
At the heart of it all: the Senate filibuster. In its first 50 years the filibuster was used 35 times. In the last two – more than 100 times.
We need to build momentum now for reform. There are 33 Senate seats up for grabs in this election. Regardless of who has control in January, our leaders need to fix the filibuster to stop the bickering and start governing.
When they come back for the lame duck in November, let’s make sure a pile of petitions are waiting. Tell Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid to end filibuster abuse. Let’s do it now.
The reform we demand requires a change of Senate rules, which can be made effective when the new Congress is seated in January.
As it’s currently structured, 41 senators, representing as little as 11 percent of the U.S. population, could theoretically obstruct even proceeding to a bill supported by 59 senators, representing as much as 89 percent of the population. And it happened again and again during the 112th Congress.
But this shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Since the Senate’s 60-vote requirement to end debate is prone to abuse by both parties, they should be able to find common ground. This is an arcane rule meant for extreme circumstances, not scoring partisan points or promoting individual agendas.
Governing has lost out. Problem solving has lost out. It's way past time we fixed it. Right now, let’s demand our leaders step up and lead. We won’t accept another Congress like the last.
With your support, we can make a big difference.