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.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.
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.
United States Senator
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.