Common Cause

For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Mary Boyle, (202) 736-577

For Now, It Appears Senate Returning to Dysfunction-as-Usual

WASHINGTON - One month after 53 Democratic senators signed a letter announcing they
would try to breathe some life into the principle of majority rule in
that chamber, it now sadly appears that little reform will actually

Barring some last-minute resolve, the Senate is expected to return to
dysfunctional business-as-usual. In other words, the Republican minority
can continue abusing the filibuster to block Democratic initiatives and
the Democratic leadership can continue to choke off GOP amendments to
what little legislation actually reaches the floor.

Three bright spots in this debate have been Sens. Tom Harkin, Jeff
Merkley and Tom Udall, who've made a sustained, energetic effort to get
the Senate to do the work Americans elected it to do. They at least have
secured a new rule that apparently will keep senators from using secret
"holds" to keep legislation off the floor. We hope they'll continue
their crusade for bigger reforms, including an end to the filibuster.
This fight needs to go on, and Common Cause is committed to advocating
for the serious reform needed to fix the Senate.

A dark spot, we must note, has been Sen. Lamar Alexander, who on Tuesday
used the filibuster rule to block a floor debate on Merkley's plan to
change the filibuster rule. We can only conclude that the case for
leaving the rule unchanged is so weak that Alexander and his brethren
were embarrassed to be seen trying to articulate it.


FRIENDS: Now More Than Ever

Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder

Support Common DreamsSupport Common Dreams

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Share This Article

More in: