There's momentum for the talking filibuster and for real reform coming from the new Senate. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is the latest cosigner on the strong reform package being forwarded by Sens. Jeff Merkely, Tom Udall, and Tom Harkin. She's joined by a senior colleague, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who tweeted this morning that she's "for the strongest filibuster reform out there" and adds, "If you want to filibuster in the Senate, you should be on floor making your case. Show up or shut up." A majority of the Democratic caucus wants real change.
But Harry Reid is wavering, still trying to work out a watered down approach with Mitch McConnell in a process that could drag on for a week or even two. This report from The Hill also suggests that he is backing away from the idea of using the constitutional option, the 51 majority vote to pass reform, because "does not want to start the new Congress on a sourly partisan note and would prefer to negotiate a bipartisan alternative."
Just a reminder to Sen. Reid: Here's what you said just a month ago about bipartisan agreements:
Sen. Reid in December: “We’re going to change the rules. We cannot continue in this way. So I hope we can get something Republicans will work with us on. But it won’t be a handshake. [...] We tried that last time; it didn’t work.”Reid doesn't have a final package yet, and he is still talking about trying to create a rule that will flip the burden of a filibuster onto the minority: Instead of requiring 60 votes to overcome it, it would force the minority to have 41 votes, on the floor, to continue it. That's a good reform, but adding the talking filibuster would make it better.
About 175,000 of you have taken action to encourage your senators and Harry Reid to make filibuster reform work. Thank you for that, for acting on this critical issue. We're not done yet, though, not as long as Reid is still talking to his caucus and talking to Republicans. Send a message to him, either directly or through your Democratic Senator, to make the Senate work again.
If you don't have a Democratic senator, call Reid's office at 202-224-3542, and tell him to include the talking filibuster and/or flipping the burden of the filibuster.