Our government isn’t working. That seems obvious to most Americans. And, the big problem is the Senate. The GOP’s obstructionist tactics have prevented that body’s ability to solve some of our nation’s glaring problems. But, instead of trying to fix the filibuster, several Senate Democrats are enabling the obstruction by blocking efforts to change the rules. Via The Hill, here are some of the problems:
“It won’t happen,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who said she would “probably not” support an effort to lower the number of votes needed to cut off filibusters from 60 to 55 or lower.
Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) echoed Feinstein: “I think we should retain the same policies that we have instead of lowering it.
“I think it has been working,” he said.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said he recognizes his colleagues are frustrated over the failure to pass measures such as the Disclose Act, campaign legislation that fell three votes short of overcoming a Republican filibuster Tuesday.
“I think as torturous as this place can be, the cloture rule and the filibuster is important to protect the rights of the minority,” he said. “My inclination is no.”
Sen. Jon Tester, a freshman Democrat from Montana, disagrees with some of his classmates from more liberal states.
“I think the bigger problem is getting people to work together,” he said. “It’s been 60 for a long, long time. I think we need to look to ourselves more than changing the rules.”
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who is up for reelection in 2012, also said he would like the votes needed for cloture to remain the same.
“I’m not one who think it needs to be changed,” he said.
Of course Nelson doesn’t want it changed. He sides with GOPers all the time. But Feinstein? Tester?
The filibuster has to be fixed.
Chris Bowers has been keeping track of filibuster vote count, including some of this year’s candidates.