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Kill Yr Filibuster

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Harry Reid is making sense:

The Senate today, after years of abusing an arcane procedural rule known as the filibuster, has become an unworkable legislative graveyard. Not part of the framers’ original vision, the modern filibuster was created in 1917. The recent use of the filibuster — an attempt by a minority of lawmakers to delay or block a vote on a bill or confirmation — has exploited this rule, forcing virtually all Senate business to require 60 of the 100 senators’ votes to proceed. This means a simple majority is not enough to advance even the most bipartisan legislation.

Republicans over the past decade — knowing their policies are unpopular and that obstruction benefits them politically — perfected and increased the gratuitous use of the filibuster. Even routine Senate business is now subject to the filibuster and Republicans’ seeming obsession with gridlock and obstruction.

The Senate is now a place where the most pressing issues facing our country are disregarded, along with the will of the American people overwhelmingly calling for action. The future of our country is sacrificed at the altar of the filibuster.

Something must change. That is why I am now calling on the Senate to abolish the filibuster in all its forms. And I am calling on candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president to do the same.

The filibuster is not the primary reason why there’s gridlock right now, of course, but maintaining it would guarantee that the next Democratic president would have no functional legislative agenda even if Dems control the Senate. It’s obvious both in theory and in historical practice that the filibuster benefits reactionary interests. But don’t take my word for it: take Mitch McConnell’s. If he thought it would benefit Republicans in the long run to eliminate the filibuster it would already be dead.

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