Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Senate Filibuster...2013

The Filibuster ?

In the past, our nation was able to move forward on landmark legislation that established workers’ rights, civil rights, retirement security, and much more. But today, the current rules that govern the U.S. Senate are halting progress, even when a solid majority supports legislation. Tactics like the “silent” filibuster – where a Senator can bring a bill to a halt by merely saying that he or she will filibuster – allow individual Senators to hold the nation’s work hostage.

So what is a filibuster ? Filibusters are long, exhaustive speeches by Senators to block all or parts of a bill. They were once reserved for rare occasions, such as when Sen. Strom Thurmond launched his record-setting 24 hour and 18 minute attempt to stop to the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Today, the “silent” filibuster happens all the time – 385 times since 2006. Sixty votes are needed to stop a filibuster, so the Senate now needs a super-majority to get anything done. The “silent” filibuster has derailed many USW priorities including the Employee Free Choice Act, the Bring Jobs Home Act and more. 

Senate rules on the filibuster need to be reformed.
Those decisions will be made next week!
Senate Resolution 4 (S. Res. 4) would replace the current “silent” filibuster with the traditional “talking” filibuster, encouraging accountability by making the filibuster a public exercise and discouraging frivolous misuse.  S. Res. 4 ensures that you cannot filibuster what’s called a “motion to proceed” which simply brings a bill up for debate.  It also modifies the amount of time that can be spent on nominations and prevents Senators from filibustering when a conference committee is needed to resolve differences in House and Senate bills.
Please make a quick call to each of your Senators!
Decisions will be made early next week.

Dial the Capitol Switchboard toll-free at 866-297-3817
and ask to be connected with your Senators.
Ask each of your Senators to cosponsor Senate Resolution 4.
Please note: Senators Udall (NM), Harkin (IA) and Merkley (OR) have led the charge on this issue and are already listed as cosponsors of the legislation.  Please thank them for their efforts!
Not sure who your Senators are?  Check for a listing.

“We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike." !  Adolph Hitler - May 2,1933
 " two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"! a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
Fiat Lux

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