Let's Banish the Filibuster

It's now just an obstruction, not a voice for minority party: Ezra Klein

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 8, 2012 12:37 PM CST

(Newser) – With the election behind us, it's time to get rid of the power to filibuster in the Senate, writes Ezra Klein at Bloomberg View. What was once a rare legislative move is now abused on a regular basis—it's become "simply a rule that the minority party uses to require a 60-vote supermajority to get anything done." Consider that there were more filibusters in 2009 and 2010 than in the '70s, '80s, and '90s combined, largely because the rules have changed.

"The problem with the filibuster isn’t that senators don’t have to stand and talk, or that they can filibuster the motion to debate as well as the vote itself," writes Klein. "It’s that the Senate has become, with no discussion or debate, an effective 60-vote institution. If you don’t change that, you haven’t solved the problem." Republicans should get on board, he adds, because they may find themselves the majority party again as early at 2014. Click for Klein's full column.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, right, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell confer on Capitol Hill in this file photo.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, right, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell confer on Capitol Hill in this file photo.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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