Why It Matters!
Sunday, January 27, 2013
This is a serious blog.
How the Lack of Senate Debate Threatens Our Democracy?
Why the Senate Can't Get Anything Done?
All 100 Senators must agree that the business of the Senate will go forward. One Senator can stop bills, nominations, appointments, even ordinary actions like naming a post office.
Preventing discussion of a bill.
There are four ways an individual Senator can block debate and discussion of a bill.
One Senator can block:
1. The motion to consider.
2. The actual motion or issue.
3. The nomination of a conference committee.
4. The House-Senate conference report on bills that must be approved by the full
To make matters worse, at each of these four steps, an individual Senator not only can block discussion, but can insist that the Senate conduct no other business for 30 hours.
Requiring a supermajority on nearly everything.
A supermajority of all Senators, or 60 votes, is needed just to allow discussion or a vote on a bill. That's not what democracy looks like. In a democracy, a majority is the standard for elections, not a supermajority.
None of these rules are included in the Constitution and all have been changed over our country's history.
Since 2009, the Senate has spent 360 workdays waiting to move forward because of broken Senate rules.
IN THAT TIME: Thomas Jefferson could have drafted the Declaration Of Independence 8 times or the Senate could have sung "IMAGINE" 57,600 times.
It's time to stop the obstruction and get on with discussion and debate about the issues the American people care about. It's time to fix the Senate now.
Write or call your Senator today.