- The Senate may change the rules around the filibuster. After helping stop a 2010 effort to change the way the Senate works, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said earlier this year that he would now support it, arguing that the Republican minority was abusing the process.
- The incoming crop of Democratic senators may play a key role. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), a key leader in the fight for changes to the filibuster, helped raise money for Democratic Senate candidates who support the move, including six who won: Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Tim Kaine (Virginia), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota), Martin Heinrich (New Mexico) and Mazie Hirono (Hawaii).
In support of changes:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
- "I believe that if you look at what Lyndon Johnson had to do when he was the leader, as I am, it was a different world. Why? You know how many filibusters he had to try to override? One. Me? 248."
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
“Over the past four years, I have seen the Senate rules abused – particularly the use of the filibuster – at the expense of the American people. We need to protect the rights of the minority, but we must find a way to allow the Senate to work productively so we can meet the challenges we face as a country.”
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
Senator-elect Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
- “Part of the reason that reform can’t occur in the Senate is because of the way they do business. ... The filibuster is in dire need of reform. Whether or not it needs to go away, we need to reform the way the filibuster is used, so it is not used in the order of everyday policy, but is only used in exceptional circumstances.”
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
- "Now, one may have taken more than a week. Twenty-four hours a day, but it was something where opposition could express their thoughts in adequate fashion. ... At the appropriate time, it came for the vote.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
- "I have take an look at some of the proposals. I think we need them. Consider in the last six years, we have had 380 Republican filibusters. When LBJ was leader, there was one filibuster. They abused it to the point where the Senate is a shell of its former self. We need reform that makes a filibuster count."
Senator-elect Angus King (I-Maine)
- "My principal issue is the functioning of the Senate. ... I'm not arrogant or naive enough to think that one guy from Maine is going to be able to fundamentally change this structure, but I do think you've got to start somewhere, and I do think I can be a catalyst for it."
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)
- In a question-and-answer session, Kerry said he supports "the basics" of a proposal from Sen. Tom Udall to change the rules so that the filibuster is not a "day-to-day tactic" and is a "reasonable process."
Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
- "On the first day of the new session in January, the senators will have a unique opportunity to change the filibuster rule with a majority vote, rather than the normal two-thirds vote. The change can be modest: If someone objects to a bill or a nomination in the United States Senate, they should have to stand on the floor of the chamber and defend their opposition."
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
- "If we are to preserve the Senate’s function as a check on haste, as a haven for minority views, we must ensure that protection of minority rights is no longer a barrier to any and all action. Limiting excessive filibusters on the motion to proceed is one modest change we can make that addresses this crisis without changing the Senate’s fundamental character."
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
- Spokesman: "If someone wants to force a filibuster, they actually have to stand up and talk like they used to, state their reasons and be held accountable."
As seen ondfmpolitics.com
What senators have said about the filibuster
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