Yesterday, Sen. Harry Reid announced his support for filibuster reform, the third point in our Make Congress Work!
action plan. “If there were anything that ever needed changing in this body, it’s the filibuster rules, because it’s been abused, abused, abused,” Reid says. We couldn't agree more. The problem is senators no longer have to take to the floor to filibuster a bill a la Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Currently, all it takes is a bit of paperwork. We propose real, not virtual filibusters. In addition, right now filibusters can be used to prevent people from even debating a bill -- through filibusters on motions to proceed. If the Senate simply ended the practice of filibustering motions to proceed, it could cut the number of filibusters in half and allow more issues to be debated and voted on by the full Senate. These reforms will not necessarily favor Democrats or Republicans -- the battle for the Senate is tight and either party could hold control in January
. The political climate means conditions are ideal for rules reform: Manu Raju for POLITICO: Frustrated Harry Reid: Reform the filibuster
REPORTS ON THE DEATH OF PROBLEM-SOLVING HAVE BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED:
No Labels Co-Founder Mark McKinnon gives five reasons Sen. Dick Lugar's (R-IN) loss in the Indiana Republican Senate primary does not signal an end to problem-solving in Congress: 1) Moderates might be on their way out, but problem-solvers are still around 2) Momentum for reforms is picking up 3) Polls show the American public wants problem-solving 4) An end-of-year fiscal cliff will force any closet problem-solvers into the open 5) The incentives are changing for politicians: Mark McKinnon for PolicyMic: 5 Reasons Why Lugar's Loss in Indiana Primary Doesn't Spell the End for Congress
GRIDLOCK HURTING ECONOMY:
Congress' gridlock is having a negative impact on the economy, according to an editorial in USA TODAY. Fluctuations in the financial markets over the past year have been driven by congressional decisions -- and indecision. With a fiscal cliff approaching at the end of this year and most business leaders and economists in agreement that the best solution is to reach a deal that would slash trillions of dollars from projected long-term deficits, any indecision could lead to even more serious economic consequences: Editorial for USA TODAY: Political polarization is not cheap
CONSEQUENCES? NO THANKS:
The result of the failure of the Super Committee tasked with finding a solution to reduce the deficit last summer was across-the-board mandatory spending cuts to defense and social programs -- an outcome that was supposed to be untenable to both parties. Now, the House has passed a bill that would replace the cuts to defense with additional cuts to social programs. The legislation has little to no chance of becoming law. Instead of playing political games, Congress should be finding solutions that will avoid the end-of-year fiscal cliff that can pass both Houses and get the president's signature: David Rogers for POLITICO: GOP leaves debt accord in dust
RICHARD MOURDOCK IS AT IT AGAIN:
This man simply doesn't get the problem in Congress. Here's his latest gem: "This is a historic time, and the most powerful people in both parties are so opposed to one another that one side simply has to win out over the other." Mr. Mourdock: In November, Congress will almost certainly still be divided. No party will win an overwhelming majority. Then what? Jennifer Steinhauer for The New York Times: Many Pursuits, but Bipartisanship Isn't One of Them
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