Today is the day to fix the Senate!

clee January 3, 2013 57

We’ve been working hard to hold our legislators’ feet to the fire on tax fairness and maintaining and strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits.

Imagine, though, if we would have been able to get these important issues resolved months ago — or at least had legislators on record so voters knew where they stood on these issues before the elections.

Well, we now have a chance to make that happen — to fix a major reason that gridlock’s taken over Washington, D.C. The Senate is considering a filibuster reform bill that would change the rules to make it once again a tool of empowerment, rather than just a cheap scare tactic.

Pick up the phone right now and call 1-866-937-5062 to urge your senators to support Senate rules reform. 

Leave a comment below and let us know your Senator’s position.

For too long now, the filibuster has been misused and abused. It used to be an important tool to give the Senate minority a voice. But not anymore.

Congress has stopped legislating effectively, with senators using ridiculous dodge tactics to block real progress on bills that would create good jobs, end the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2%, stop rewarding companies that outsource jobs and other important legislative initiatives.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and extreme legislators in the Senate made a “gentlemen’s agreement” before the start of the last legislative session that they wouldn’t abuse the filibuster to block debate on bills.

But that promise was quickly broken, and over the last two years more motions were made to prevent bills from being openly debated than during any other congressional session in history.

Right now, all it takes is a handful of senators to stop the rest from making progress. With reform, we can restore the filibuster to its original purpose. But we’ve got to stand up and fight for that reform.

Call 1-866-937-5062 and tell your senators you support Senate rules reform, including returning to a talking filibuster, and they should, too.

After your call, leave a  report back on how your call went in the comments below!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1203596704 Lizzie Scott

    Senator Schumer’s aide said he’d pass my comment along.

  • Jeff

    I had to leave a message for Sen. Schumer. They were not picking up when I called.

  • CatKinNY

    left a message

  • Lrheg

    I called both of my senators and they both (Levin and Stabenow) support Senate rules changes on the issue of filibuster.

    • markg8

      The McCain Levin version is terrible. It gives the opposition even more power. It allows them to attach two poison pill amendments to every bill to kill them.

  • Nora Hazi

    I left a message for Senator Boxer but will call back later

  • Bernard Schiff

    Talked to Levin’s office.Could not get to Sabinow’s office. Do not worry i know both Mi senators will vote to change the rules if it can be brought up.

  • rosswallen

    Thanks so much for making calls folks! For more info on the Fix the Senate coalition’s position on the proposals that are out there, check out, Momentum Builds for Strong Senate Rules Reform As Leaders Criticize Weak Levin-McCain Offering: http://fixthesenatenow.org/news/entry/momentum-builds-for-strong-senate-rules-reform/#.UOWj3uRWyuI

  • PA voter

    Got Casey’s answering machine, Toomey’s office picked up, but I doubt any amount of pressure will get him to do the right thing.

  • markg8

    Dick Durbin’s man was noncommittal. Mark Kirk’s people sent it to VM where I left a message for him to vote for Merkley Udall.

  • Barretttechnology

    I talked to Senator Chuck Schumer staff he will pass the messages to the Senator.

  • David K Elkins

    Male staff member took my message, thanked me for my call, and stated that Senator Feinstein supports the strongest filibuster reform.

  • Carol

    I contacted Senator Schumer’s office; the number you provided only led me to him, so I then called Senator Gilabrand locally. Neither spokesperson knew the senators’ opinions on the filabuster reform, but I left my name and comment. They were very polite.

  • Mkellner

    I spoke to a staff member of Senator Chuck Schumer and she said she would pass my comments along

  • PeterJRobbins

    Sen. Gillibrand came out previously supporting major change in filibuster rules. Sen Schumer not sure of stated position. Both calls were well received today.

  • Nora Hazi

    Sen. Feinstein supports rules reform

  • Judy Scheffel

    It was just a tally count/call – they didn’t want any names or discussion

  • linda boccia

    Senator Barbara Boxer also supports rules reform. Let’s get the entire country on board for reform and it’s NOT just the Senate. The House republicans have been holding the American public hostage and it’s time to take back the HOUSE WITH RESPONSIBLE voting and negotiating representatives.

  • Ben

    Here is the written response from Pat Leahy:
    Thank you for contacting me about changes to Senate rules. I share your frustration with the abuse of the filibuster and as the Senate discusses possible rules changes, I will keep your thoughts in mind.

    In January 2011, I voted for resolutions sponsored by Senators Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Tom Udall of New Mexico that would have reformed the filibuster. These resolutions included a provision that would end the “silent filibuster” which would have required a senator who objects to the concluding of a debate to come to the Senate floor and say so, rather than going about his or her normal business. This would have then helped clear a path to debate. Most importantly to me as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, the resolutions also included a provision that reduced the period following cloture from 30 hours to two hours. This would have helped the Senate fill judicial vacancies across the country in a timely manner. Unfortunately, on January 27, 2011 these resolutions failed to garner enough votes in the Senate.

  • Bevers

    Boxer – They just said they would let her know my position.

  • Jnaples

    I was able to speak with the representative for Senator Schumer and I urge the senator to please return to a talking filibuster and reform the senate rules.

  • danielmorr

    Staffer for Senator Gillibrand said he would pass along the message. I was not able to get through to Senator Schumer’s Washington office, but a short time ago I called his Peekskill NY office (the nearest local office to where I live). The staffer there said she would pass along the message.

  • Emcauliffe

    I called for 2 days and no one answered, no voice mail either. I sent an email, but I will continue to try to get through.

  • Erayham

    Feinstiens’ mail box full at 10:35 am PT

  • Suzanneallison1

    Jack Reed – staffer said they would pass along my message to support reforming the filibuster and make it a requirement to stay on the floor talking.

  • Mchaelmontez

    Both Senator Feinstein and Boxer’s number took my message but didn’t tell me where they stood.

  • Mjapeace99

    Senator Boxer has not currently released a statement about the filibuster reform, but her staff will pass on my advocacy.

  • Llinda

    I left a message for Senator Feinstein

  • Shirley Howland

    There was no answer at the number you gave so I called the local office of Senators Boxer and Feinstein. Boxer was friendly and said they’d forward the message and that they were receiving a great many calls regarding the bill – and that Boxer favored it. Feinstein was very short and said only they’d forward the messaged. (I didn’t even get a chance to tell them that even though I voted for her, I don’t like Feinstein…)

  • Larry

    no Answer will call directly later

  • Tom Giles

    Return to the talking filibuster, stop the obstructionists.

  • Christa Wilk

    Christa

    Called B. Boxer’s office. My call was answered and will be passed on.

  • asimonsays

    I left messages with both Sen Boxer and Feinstein. hope they listen…most rarely do these days.

  • Patrick M. Donovan

    I got through to Senator Schummer’s office and left a message with a staffer.

  • Sharon Lee

    Left a telephone message with Boxer’s office and spoke to an aide in Feinstein’s office. I add that it was urgent and that not changing filibuster rules makes every Senator complicit in the dysfunctionality of the Senate. I also support the elimination of the filibuster rule and have stated in previous phone calls that there is a lawsuit suing the Senate because they claim in subverts our constitutional majority rule. They’d better change it…

  • Renee Comments

    I called the offices of Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein….I was told by both offices that the senators have not yet issued an official statement regarding their view on this matter. Quite dissappointing.

    • sybil stoller

      I was connected to Senator Boxer’s voice mail and left the message.

  • joe peach

    I phoned Harry Reid in Washington and got a staffer and vented my frustration forcefully but politely –then called DI-FI and left a message on her machine—I told them both that the little guy will think they are heros if they take a stand.

  • mesmereyes

    Left message on Senator Schumer’s (NY) answering service.

  • Cweyhing

    I left a message with Senator Carl Levin’s voice mail.

  • Ahanson47

    Web posted:

    I strongly urge you to oppose the weak McCain/Levin compromise on the filibuster and instead support a strong filibuster reform package that includes at least the following changes:

    * Implementing Sen. Jeff Merkley’s plan for the “talking filibuster,” which requires those wishing to block legislation or nominations to take the floor and actually filibuster;

    * Requiring 41 senators to affirmatively vote to continue debate rather than forcing 60 senators to vote to end debate;

    * Eliminating the ability to filibuster the motion to proceed; and

    * Streamlining the nomination process so that nominees will get an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor, including a reduction of the required 30 hours of “post-cloture debate” on a nominee to two hours.

  • Owladb

    I spoke to Senator Boxer’s staff member. No position yet, but urged support. Next, Sen Feinstein-Told that she support the reform. I urged her to do so vigorously.

  • Roger

    Boxer’s office couldn’t tell me her position; referred me to her website.
    Feinstein’s was a little vague since there are different proposals, but seems to support a talking filibuster. I reminded her that Soc.Sec. Medicare and Medicaid should not be on the table, and we should cut the bogus WARS instead, and hold BOTH parties accountable for wars based on lies.

  • Jnaples

    The representatives for Senators Schumer and Gillibrand recorded my information. The representatives both told me that they both support a talking fillibuster rule.

  • Madantin

    Being that I enjoy the privilege of having Senators Schumer and Gilibrand represent me, there is no doubt that they would support intelligent reform such as this. In fact, they do.

  • Jfrost4253

    Got machine at Finestein office & left message. Boxer staff person said she hasn’t said which reform bill she will support between Markley’s or McCain’s version, and will pass on my support of Markley’s bill

  • Peter Holmes

    I said either get rid of filibuster, or have a real filibuster with the old rules to make the minority pay the price – and to imediate stop the current rulee that requires 60 % to pass a bill if the minority so wants. – or else the Democratic part is powerless even if a majority.

  • Angela

    Left message for Feinstein.

  • Tom Scovill

    Several days ago Sen Feinstein’s aide said she supported Reid’s moderate proposal. I left a message today saying to support S Res 4 (Udall, Merkeley, Harkin). Reid’s proposal would still let the minority continue with a routine silent filibusters. I spoke to an aide in Sen Boxer’s office and left the same message

  • monroe

    I sent e-mails to both my Senators. Did not call because I either get their staff, who don’t commit to anything, or a busy signal on the phone.

  • Marc Carver

    I’m from Rhode Island. I called Senator Reed, but the call volume was high and it went to voicemail, so I left a message. Then I called Senator Whitehouse and spoke to one of his staffers, who promised he would pass the message on to Senator Whitehouse.

  • Criller1

    I called Senator Schumer’s office and left a message with the gentleman who answered the phone. I told him I wanted the Senator to support the Filibuster reform bill.

  • Lhchameleon

    Left a message for Senator Stabenow this morning. Linda H.

  • Mha Atma S Khalsa

    I left messages for Senators Feinstein and Boxer urging them to support genuine filibuster reform NOW.

  • K8jbmet

    Left a message for Senator Feinstein.

  • Caalexan

    Kirsten Gillebrand’s office very pro-filibuster reform, including the talking filibuster, and very cheerful about it. Chuck Schumer’s office was not helpful and very cool. I told Schumer’s office that climate change legislation would depend on filibuster reform, which I believe is true, and that I would remember his vote against climate change.

  • Dale

    Couldn’t get through using the number you suggest so I called directly. Boxer: left a message. Feinstein: couldn’t get through, so I sent an email.