Time to restore the real filibuster
The Jan. 23 news story “Senate leaders seek to rein in Democrats’ filibuster rebellion” said that a group of Democratic senators wants to “shake up the foundation of the world’s most deliberative body, right down to challenging the filibuster.” The group, led by Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), is not trying to challenge the filibuster; it is trying to restore it.
In the past two years, there have been no true filibusters— no senators taking the floor and talking endlessly. This is because the mere threat of a filibuster has prevented legislation and nominations from even reaching the floor. The constant practice by senators of threatening to filibuster has turned a tradition upside down; cloture is invoked before debate begins. The Senate needs to adopt the Udall-Merkley proposals and restore the traditional “ talking” filibuster.
David RePass, Charlottesville