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Every time there is another Filibuster Reform Petition on DKos I sign it and then follow it up with a note to Senator Boxer since she has been one of the infamous 6 Democrat Senators who did not get behind the real Reform measure proposed by Senators Merkley, Harkin, and Udall.

My other Senator, Diane Feinstein, is also on the list but she's such a lost cause in so many other ways I have concentrated my efforts on Boxer who I have always felt was persuadable. To my disappointment, none of my messages received a reply - that is until my most recent comment, written after the shameful vote on Background Checks for gun control. Today I finally got this email response:

Thank you for contacting me about reforming the filibuster.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

As you likely know, the filibuster is a parliamentary procedure that can be used by a minority in the U.S. Senate to prolong debate or block voting on a given bill.  Historically the filibuster has been used in rare circumstances, but abuse of the filibuster by Senate Republicans over the last few years has caused unprecedented gridlock in Congress.

We need to reform the Senate so we can get the work of the American people done.  At the beginning of the 113th Congress, the Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve rule changes to allow congressional business to come to the floor in a more timely manner while maintaining important rights for the minority.  This was a good first step, but if the Senate minority continues to block consideration of even noncontroversial legislation and nominations, further changes in Senate rules may be needed.

Again, thank you for writing to me.  Please feel free to contact me again about this or other issues of concern to you.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

I know there are many who will look at this cynically.  Certainly she is not yet where she should be on the issue which is out in front, not dragging her feet in the back of the pack. But for those who have been relentless in continuing pressure, this is a good sign and an indication that the Background Check may be an open wound for the 6 who did not stand up way back in the beginning of the session.  

I urge everyone to re-address this issue with their Congressman, centering it around the recent gun control votes and the continued obstruction of even Senate confirmations, including Director of the ATF. This is still very far from a lost cause.

Originally posted to dougdilg on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by California politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Actually I think Feinstein might changer her mind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    on filibuster reform after the GOP killed the gun control debate.  See that's how you get these old bulls on board, kill something they love in the Senate.

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:40:32 PM PDT

  •  We have to admit that there are Prim Donna (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Truedelphi, dadoodaman, Aspe4, biloxiblues

    Democrats in the Senate who do not WANT the silent filibuster ended. Most of these Senate Democrats belong to a category which I have termed "The Political Personality Cult" (PPC).  These Senators have been engaged in politics for such a long time that they have come to believe the long standing PR hype that has come to publically define their individual persona. Most of these Senators find it expedient to proudly wear the progressive/liberal label in public while posing as the nation's champion of the poor and defenseless. However, this pseudo-scripted profile does not even come close to the actual personalities of these senior politicians.

    It is evident, with their re-election of conservative leaning Harry Reid to be the Majority Leader of the Senate during the Senate Democrat Caucus, that their actions speak significantly louder than their words. They all recognize that Harry Reid will surreptitiously support the continuance of the silent filibuster. From their perspective they can count on a healthy over-use by the Senate Republicans of the silent filibuster, thereby SHIELDING the PPC Senate Democrats from the responsibilities of casting their votes on highly controversial legislation, thereby escaping the possibility of public exposure of their real interests concerning the respective legislation.

    Take legislation concerning changes to Social Security (SS) for example. Many of these Senators may personally feel that cutbacks in SS are necessary, but have made a multitude of public statements that they will defend SS to their last breath. However as long as Harry Reid grant the Senate Republicans free and unchallenged use of the silent filibuster any legislation that comes to the Senate floor specifically protecting SS from any changes will be filibusted by the Republicans, and thus will never be voted upon, so the image of the PPC Democrats will remain covered.

    If radical changes to SS were to be put forward by the Senate Republicans it is most likely to be buried inside or attached to some other critical legislation like a "continuing appropriations" bill to keep the government funded. The Senate PPC Democrats would then be able to claim that they were forced to vote for the spending bill on an "emergency" basis, and they were totally unaware of the Republican dirty trick of sneaking the SS changes into the bill. Meanwhile the president quietly signs the bill into law...

    •  ^^^^This!!! (0+ / 0-)

      How many times is Lucy going to trick Charlie Brown into trying to kick that football before he realizes that she's fooling him? Boxer's student intern that sent that reply email was doing that to placate the diarist with just enough vague language to keep his/her hope alive. This is the game that keeps the Democratic base volunteering money and their time to elect Dem candidates with the hope that they'll act aggressively to pass legislation that actually helps average Americans.

      The best time to pass actual filibuster reform was in January when Congress reconvened so it would have only taken a simple majority to change the rules. Now it takes a 2/3 majority so the Democrats can now hide behind this self-imposed obstacle. I'm so tired of this. It's hard to believe that kossacks are still falling for this trick.

      "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

      by Aspe4 on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 04:06:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hard to imagine they'll change their minds (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Klusterpuck, dadoodaman, Aspe4

    give all the previous opportunities to do good that have come and gone already.

    Frankly, I'd rather take down Exxon or Goldman Sachs, the way we're taking down RushBeckistan, than elect another "better" Democrat who's going to wind up singing for the bankster choir.

    by Words In Action on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 05:24:03 PM PDT

  •  What, you can't see Boxer leading a Democratic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    minority filibuster? I'm sure she'd be insulted.

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