Senate to push for filibuster reform
- Length: 6:57 minutes (6.37 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
A new Congress will be seated tomorrow. In the House of Representatives, the first vote will be to elect Republican John Boehner as the new Speaker of the House. Also on the first day, Boehner and his Republican majority are expected to usher in new rules on how the House is run, including a new “cut as you go” rule aimed at cutting government spending.
The Senate will also take up new rules to govern the legislative chamber for the next two years, and their rules proposal could include a revamp of the filibuster.
Rare are the days when Senators would speak for hours on end to block legislation, like the late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, an enthusiastic proponent of the filibuster, did in 1992 against the line item veto.
CUT: I rise today to address the Senate on a matter of great importance to the Senate and to the House of Reps and to the American people. I intend to discuss the evolution of representative democracy… growing threat to that system by proposals to place into the hands of this President...
Senator Byrd ended his speech 6 hours later.
Now, filibustering Senators are less vocal and are often anonymous but are more common than ever. There have been more than 200 filibusters in the last four years, that is more than the very first one in 1919 until the mid 80s... combined.
Joining us to talk about reform is Alan Abromowitz, professor of Political science at Emory University.