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The new U.S. Congress goes to work today, and one of the first items on the agenda will be setting the rules for the U.S. Senate. Several proposals are circulating that would end the gridlock the Senate has faced in recent years with increased use of the filibuster. A coalition of organizations called “Fix the Senate Now” is supporting those plans.
George Kohl, senior director of legislative policy and research at Communications Workers of America, or CWA, says the problem has hurt the democratic process and both political parties.
The filibuster tactic has stalled about 70% of all Senate legislation each year since 2006. Until 1970, only about one filibuster was used per year. Proposals would not eliminate the filibuster, but change how it could be used, such as requiring a senator wanting to use the tactic to do so on the Senate floor.
Common Cause president Bob Edgar says the United States can't keep up with the world if the Senate can't take care of its business in a timely manner. He also notes that the filibuster is not part of the constitution, and may even be illegal.
A link to more information about this campaign can be found by clicking here: http://www.FixTheSenateNow.org