Common Cause Statement on Senate Changes to Filibuster Rule

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  • Dale Eisman

Today’s vote is a major step toward breaking the gridlock that now paralyzes our democracy and a pivotal victory for everyone who believes government should function as the framers of the Constitution intended: under the principle of majority rule.

“We’ve all been watching a slow-motion government shutdown for years, and this will enable the important work of reviewing and confirming presidential nominations to get moving again,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause’s senior vice president for strategy and programs.

“But the Senate is still broken and the rule change today is a small fix for a huge problem. The minority still has the power to use the filibuster to block debate and action on legislation favored by the majority. As Majority Leader Reid observed on the Senate floor this morning, ‘the need for change is so, so, very obvious.'”

Our government will not work again as it should until the Senate has permanent rules that protect the minority’s right to fully air its views, including the right to offer relevant amendments on legislation, while permitting the majority ultimately to work its will. Common Cause will continue to challenge the constitutionality of the filibuster rule and its 60-vote requirement in federal court; our suit in the D.C. Circuit is scheduled for argument in mid-January.

Along with other members of the Fix the Senate Coalition, Common Cause has been fighting for this kind of reform for several years now. We’re gratified that progress is being made but the battle is far from over.