Filibuster reform is critical to making the Senate a functioning body again. There are two moves toward reforming the filibuster rule — the requirement that 60 or more votes are needed to do most actions. One is a strong move, led by Sens. Jeff Merkley (OR) and Tom Udall (NM).
The other is a weak move — a counter-reform move if you will — led by Sens. Levin (MI) and McCain (AZ). (Yes, Carl Levin has joined with John McCain to kill real filibuster reform by offering a alternate phony-reform proposal. Remember that name — Carl Levin is the enemy of filibuster reform.)
The Merkley-Udall proposal is not a complete solution, but it has teeth, unlike the Levin-McCain fake-solution. The vote on this will occur within days — Reid is delaying it, presumably to allow lobbying to get the last few pro-reform votes. Here’s how you can help. It’s a majority vote: 50 Yeas plus the Vice-President can pass the rule change.
According to Merkley and Udall, they have 48 Democratic/Independent votes plus Biden’s promise to vote Yes as well. It’s very close. The seven Democratic senators listed below are the last to hold out. We need at least two of them to say Yes.
Please help by making calls for filibuster reform
Please call the senators listed below today, and if you can, every day until the vote is held. The Senate needs filibuster reform to be a functioning body.
One of these senators is a self-branded “progressive” — that’s you, Barbara Boxer. You could ask her — What on earth is she thinking? Maybe she could be a progressive when a real one is needed. This is a crucial vote.
In addition, two of the senators below are in the freshman class — Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Mazie Hirono (HI). Ask them directly — Do you really want to start your senatorial careers with this reputation? It’s really hard to undo a first impression, and this is a terrible one for a Democrat to make. Heitkamp and Hirono will stay on my radar a long time if they don’t change their minds.
But don’t limit yourself — Leahy’s on that list; perhaps your senator is as well. Do you live in California? Both of yours are on the potential-perp list. Please do call.
Returning the Senate to majority rule has huge implications. It’s a high-leverage item. Please help — and thanks!
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