Nov 7, 2012
It’s going to be a new day in the Senate.
Seven Democratic senators elect — Tammy Baldwin (WI), Martin Heinrich (NM), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Mazie Hirono (HI), Tim Kaine (VA), Chris Murphy (CT) and Elizabeth Warren (MA) — have all committed to “fix the broken Senate by reforming the filibuster.”
Independent Angus King, who replaces Maine’s moderate Republican Olympia Snowe, won on his platform of reforming the filibuster. "The Senate’s recent overuse of the filibuster has stalled progress on practically every issue of importance in America," King said on his campaign website. "The 60-vote requirement that it creates is not in the Constitution."
Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA) pledged to work to change filibuster rules in her third term.
And on election night, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (IL) stressed the need for reform.
“Consider in the last six years, we have had 380 republican filibusters,” he said on MSNBC. “When LBJ was leader, there was one filibuster. They abused it to the point where the senate is a shell of its former self. We need reform that makes a filibuster count. Stick around. Don't go out to dinner and tell us you'll be back in 30 hours.”
Durbin added, “The tea party dominance in the House -- marching back and forth between government closures and closing down the economy. They threatened to default on America’s debt for the first time in our history. Responsible Republicans should have stood up with the business community and said this is totally irresponsible. But they didn't. They were collared into believing this was a strategy to defeat Barack Obama. They were going to do it at any cost. Tonight I hope they will get their message back that it didn't work.”
When the new senators are sworn in next January, there will be a small window of opportunity for a simple majority of senators to vote to overhaul the Senate rules. Will there finally be more compromise and less filibuster?
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