We have seen unprecedented Republican obstruction in the Senate to the last few years, where minority abuse of the filibuster has slowed the wheels of government to the detriment of America. Uninterested in good government, the Republicans have slowed or prevented passage of many worthwhile bills - sometimes even voting for the bills they attempted to block if cloture was achieved.

It's clear that filibuster reform is needed, but what can we do while preserving it for truly important tasks?  We reverse the burden.

Currently three-fifths of all Senators "duly chosen and sworn" must support cloture, the ending of debate. This was a change made in 1975 - prior to that cloture required two-thirds of Senators "present and voting".

The burden to break the filibuster shifted from those supporting it to those opposing it.

I propose that the Senate change their rules to require that preventing cloture require two-fifths of all Senators duly chosen and sworn, and that the waiting period before a cloture vote be reduced from a day to an hour, or even abolished at the call of the Majority Leader or Acting Majority Leader.

40 Senators could maintain a filibuster, but would have to remain in the Senate to do One Senator supporting cloture could request cloture votes every few hours to affirm that 40 Senators were still present and opposed cloture.

The benefits of this change are thus:
1) Filibusters are once again the burden of the filibustering party.
2) Senators supporting a filibuster must essentially make that their full time job - since a cloture vote can occur at any time, they must stay either in chambers or very close by. No fundraising dinners or flying home for obstructionists.
3) The filibuster is still remarkably similar to what it was before - it'd likely be considered "fairer" than simply abolishing the filibuster. Just a minor adjustment to improve the efficiency of government.
4) it still exists, in case the next Republican dominated session attempts something totally unacceptable. (Yes, they could abolish it, but then they suffer the political blowback of their "tyranny".)

Your Email has been sent.