26 February 2010

My e-mail to Sen. Durbin on ending the filibuster

Dear Sen. Durbin,

I signed the petition you urged, expressing support for ending the power of the minority to block legislation (now if someone in the house would sponsor a similar petition to end gerrymandering, we might make progress towards restoring majority rule in this country).

I am concerned, however, that there isn't a move in the Senate to just DO IT. I refer to the procedure outlined recently in Talkingpointsmemo.com:

>>>"The Senate's presiding officer -- played by a friendly vice president -- would make a ruling saying the Constitution allows the Senate to change its rules by majority vote. That would allow a simple majority to rewrite the Senate's filibuster rules.

That ruling could be appealed by Republicans -- who could then filibuster their own appeal to delay, or end, debate.

"The goal is to derail the majority's effort to change the rules by majority vote," said Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Sarah Binder.

But, "according to precedent," Binder said, Democrats could simply table that appeal of the presiding officer's ruling, and go directly to an up-or-down vote.

From there, secure 51 votes and you can reform the Senate's filibuster rules anyway you want.

And, according to Binder, that doesn't have to be done at the outset of a new Congress. That's just a matter of tradition. If the Dems really wanted to, they could go through this process anytime they wanted."

I urge you to make the motion, talk to your colleagues... do whatever it takes to GET THIS DONE now, without fuss, and taking no quarter. The Republicans have declared all out war on the will of the majority, and it's up to Democrats to stand up for the People.

Thank you.

David Studhalter

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