New York Times: In Farewell Speech, Udall Says Senate Has Become ‘Graveyard for Progress’
“I’m not the first to say this in a farewell address, and I won’t be the last, but the Senate is broken,” Mr. Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, said on Tuesday in what is likely his final speech after 12 years in the deeply divided institution.
“The Senate is broken,” he repeated for emphasis.
For months, Americans have watched in anger as Congress remained mired in partisan paralysis over more pandemic relief, allowing unemployment benefits to lapse as many suffer from joblessness. Fewer people approve of the job lawmakers are doing in Washington than at almost any time in recent history. And the government watchdog group Common Cause ranked the current Congress the “least productive in history,” noting that only about 1 percent of bills introduced became law.
Mr. Udall emphasized this dysfunctional state of affairs on the floor, calling on senators to gut the legislative filibuster — which effectively requires a 60-vote supermajority to advance any major legislation — and change a culture he said valued partisanship over the country’s best interests.