Current rules that govern the U.S. Senate are halting the country’s progress and taking the nation’s work hostage. Senate filibuster reform proposed in Senate Resolution 4 (S. Res. 4) would once again ensure that the Senate can effectively address the issues that are the key to America’s future.
What is a filibuster?
Filibusters are long, exhaustive speeches by Senators designed to address flaws in a bill or to kill a bill.
Today, Senate rules allow a member to just threaten to speak to derail a bill with a filibuster. This tactic is called a “silent” filibuster and forces the Senate to get 60 votes (a cloture vote) instead of the normal majority. Since these rules have been adopted, the “silent” filibuster has derailed many USW priorities including the Employee Free Choice Act, the Bring Jobs Home Act and more.
Senate Resolution 4 (S. Res. 4) would:
- Replace the current “silent” filibuster with the traditional “talking” filibuster, encouraging increased accountability by making the filibuster a public exercise and discouraging frivolous misuse.
- Ensure that you cannot filibuster what’s called a “motion to proceed” which simply brings a bill up for debate.
- Modify the amount of time that can be spent on nominations
- Prevent Senators from filibustering when a conference committee is needed to resolve differences in House and Senate bills.
Video courtesy Communications Workers of America.
Please make a quick call to each of your Senators asking them to cosponsor S. Res. 4. A vote will be taken as early as next week.
Dial the Capitol Switchboard Toll-Free at 866-297-3817. Not sure who your Senators are? Check senate.gov.
Please note: Senators Udall (NM), Harkin (IA) and Merkely (OR) have led the charge on this issue and are already listed as cosponsors of the legislation. Please thank them for their efforts!