Yes. It is time to change the Senate’s filibuster rules back to their original intent. Presently the silent filibuster, where only the threat of a filibuster is declared or more often insinuated in the backrooms of the Senate, forces all legislation to need to be passed by a supermajority- 60 votes (because that is what is needed for cloture to stop a filibuster). This has made real debate disappear from the floor. Some have even claimed that this evolution to a supermajority needed on all legislation is unconstitutional since the Constitution only calls for a simple majority to pass any bills (51 votes). However, the Supreme Court has refused to touch this because the Constitution also says that the houses can make their own rules and the filibuster is one example of the Senate’s most controversial and unfortunately immobilizing one.
The change desired would require senators to stand up on the floor of the Senate and speak, actually filibuster, so all can hear, see, and identify who is stalling legislation (see Mr. Smith below). It would revive the practice of actual debate on the floor (Imagine that!). This change is actually supported by several small coalitions on both sides of the aisle. If a change is to be made, it has to be made at the beginning of the next session of congress which starts on Tuesday, Jan.22. If this change isn’t made, the “minority wrecking crew,” as Bill Moyers so politely calls them, will still be in charge of the Senate.
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.
(This above list is from Bill Moyers website.)