For Immediate Release Senate Rules Reform: Why it's Critical to Stop the Abuse of the Filibuster

Posted on January 26, 2011


As Senate Prepares to Debate Rules Reform, Advocates and Experts to Highlight Why Both Parties Should Support Efforts to Strengthen Democratic Process

Washington - As the U.S. Senate prepares to consider rules reform on Wednesday, January 5th, leading advocates and experts will gather on a press conference call Tuesday, January 4th at 11:30 AM Eastern to discuss the reasons why reform is sorely needed and to discuss some of the proposed changes.

The speakers on Tuesday's press call, listed below, will offer remarks on how the manipulation of the rules has hurt the Senate and why proposed reforms make sense for both parties.

Recently, the entirety of the returning Senate Democratic caucus signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) calling for rules reform, particularly those governing the use of the filibuster. These Senators have witnessed the way that the abuse of filibusters and secret holds has transformed the democratic and legislative processes. For example, the recently-concluded 111th Congress saw 91 filibusters in the Senate - by comparison: the entire 19th century saw fewer than two dozen filibusters and during Dwight Eisenhower's presidency there were just two. The rise of such obstruction, often conducted in backroom chambers, has come at a great cost to principles such as bipartisanship, accountability, and transparency.

WHO: Nan Aron, President, Alliance for Justice

Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Bob Edgar, President and C.E.O., Common Cause

Wade Henderson, President and C.E.O., The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

WHAT: Press Conference Call on Senate Rules Reform

WHEN: Tuesday, January 4th at 11:30 AM Eastern

HOW: 1-800-862-9098; Passcode: "Reform"

For more information on why rules reform is needed and why reform adheres to historical precedent, visit the Fix the Senate Now website-a one-stop-shop for rules reform news, data, and historical information. The site includes an overview of the eight principles of reform Senators should include in reform proposals and a series of resources that outline why rules reform is essential for the health of our democracy.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: More Democracy Reforms

Tags: The Filibuster

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