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Just to make sure, I wrote to Senator Tester to ask his position on filibuster reform in the upcoming session. Here's his response.  In short: he supports requiring an actual filibuster.

Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts and concerns about the use of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate.  It's good to hear from you.

As you know, a filibuster allows one single Senator to prevent the Senate from considering a bill, nomination, or any other legislative matter.  Although it has always been an option for Senators, the use of the filibuster has only recently become common in the Senate.  In the 2009-2010 Congress, more than 60 bills were filibustered.  This tool has been abused and has prevented the Senate from being able to start to debate important legislation.

The best way to address the abuse of the filibuster is to require Senators who wish to prevent a final up-or-down vote to speak continuously on the floor, as was originally intended in the Senate.  I supported a resolution last year that would require this change as well as guarantee fair debate by requiring consideration of an equal number of amendments for both parties.

Although not enough of my colleagues agreed to this resolution, I hope that they will reconsider so that the next Congress can be more productive while still protecting the rights of Senators in the minority party.  Now more than ever, it's critical that all members of the U.S. Senate work together to debate the issues facing our country instead of delaying Senate business to score political points.

Your input is a critical part of making sure my work in the Senate reflects Montana priorities.  I hope you won't hesitate to contact me again if I can be of further assistance.


Jon Tester
United States Senator

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