April 18, 2013 | Why Our Broken Senate Kills Popular Policies
The problems with the current Senate rules — namely the abuse of the filibuster by Republicans — are well known. Less well understood is how the Senate by designempowers the residents of small states at the expense of residents of larger states. This fact explains why a policy like background checks that enjoys the support of over 90 percent of Americans can still be killed in the Senate through a combination of filibuster abuse and the Senate’s bias toward small states.
Apr 18, 2013 The Senators Who Supported Background Checks Represent Nearly Two-Thirds Of Americans:I include the following link with some reservations. The senate functionary, a Historian seems more than a little obtuse and like a parody of silly assumptions and his explantions might confuse rather than elucidate the matter. Nevertheless I include the quote below and a embed video from Tom Udall.
To put this in perspective, Wyoming Sens. Mike Enzi (R) and John Barrasso (R) both voted against the gun safety provision. Together, they represent a little more than half a million people. California Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D) and Barbara Boxer (D) both voted for gun safety. They represent over 38 million Americans. In other words, a voter in Wyoming enjoys 66 times as much representation in the Senate as a voter in California.
As the least populous state, Wyoming makes out like bandits when it comes to Senate representation, but they are far from alone in enjoying such a windfall. A voter in Idaho (population 1,595,728) counts as almost 24 Californians. A voter in Nebraska (population 1,845,525) counts as nearly 21 Californians. And a voter in North Dakota (population 699,628) counts as more than 54 Californians. Indeed, if you add up the combined populations of Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska, Idaho, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Alabama, that still adds up to over 3 million fewer people than live in the state of California. That also adds up to 26 senators, all of whom opposed background checks.
Can the Senate Be Fixed?Illuminating this story are video interviews with three of the people CQ talked with about the Senate and its history -- Senate Historian Donald A. Ritchie, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and former Senate Parliamentarian Robert Dove. Also in this package are a slide show of images reflecting the evolution of the filibuster, plus graphics and background data on cloture motions and the rise of the 60-vote Senate.How Broken Is the Senate? The Gun Bill Blockers Only Represent 38% of America
Let's fix the Senate.
How to Fix It