Monday, August 25th, 2014
Last Friday, a Politico story by Burgess Everett offered a reminder why last November’s rules reform were an essential step forward for the chamber:
Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Before the Senate departed for its August recess, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) attempted to confirm two dozen foreign service officers to fill vacant ambassadorships in countries throughout the world. However, Senate Republicans blocked all two dozen of these potential confirmations.
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Al Kamen and Colby Itkowitz write in a Washington Post piece titled, “Senate Clock is Ticking as Nominees Wait on Their Fate,” of the disturbing backlog of ambassadors and other executive branch nominees waiting on the U.S. Senate to provide confirmation votes.
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blasted Senate Republicans’ continued “obstruction for obstruction’s sake,” noting that Senate Republicans "put up roadblock after roadblock" and seek to waste the maximum amount of Senate time in the confirmation of even non-controversial nominees.
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
An important new read in the energy and environmental publication Greenwire, titled “Top jobs vacant as nominees languish in confirmation limbo,” highlights how Senate Republicans’ obstruction has blocked a series of key energy and environmental nominees from receiving a vote in the Senate, causing these important executive branch jobs to remain unfilled.
Thursday, June 26th, 2014
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared this week that “the Senate has reached a new level of dysfunction.” As Steve Benen of MSNBC noted in response, “hearing Mitch McConnell complain about Capitol Hill dysfunction is a bit like hearing Uruguay’s Luis Suarez complaining about biting in soccer. It requires a failure of self-awareness that’s almost too staggering to contemplate.”
Friday, May 30th, 2014
The U.S. Senate has made significant advances in recent weeks toward reducing the judicial backlog and confirming judges to fill key vacancies.
Thursday, May 15th, 2014
Senate filibuster abuse is back in the news this week, spurred by new comments from President Obama and several documentations of the record Senate gridlock he has faced during his administration.
Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
A major new report released today by Common Cause, “The ‘New Nullification’ At Work,” shows that despite important Senate reforms adopted last November and progress reducing the judicial backlog in recent weeks, the U.S. Senate remains mired in gridlock and faces a severe backlog of nominees.
Monday, May 5th, 2014
Last week has delivered two reminders of why obstruction in the U.S. Senate remains a pressing concern:
Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Senate Republicans continue to show notable hypocrisy and selective memory regarding the Senate’s recent policies and procedures, as well as their own efforts to foster gridlock in the chamber.
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
New analysis from Common Cause highlights two recent “shameful milestones” that the current U.S. Senate should not be celebrating.
Monday, March 31st, 2014
Last November’s modest reforms in the U.S. Senate helped to nudge the upper chamber back toward its traditional norm of providing an up-or-down vote for every qualified nominee.
Monday, March 24th, 2014
A new story today in Politico highlights growing support for reforming senators’ “blue slip” veto power over judicial nominees: “Republican senators, White House aides argue, have developed what amounts to a silent filibuster, using the ‘blue slip’ tradition that gives home state senators signoff power for in-state nominees.
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
In order to fully realize the potential of last November’s changes to the nominations process, the Fix the Senate Now coalition has been calling for the U.S. Senate to explore additional reforms.
Monday, February 24th, 2014
A new study from the Brennan Center for Justice makes clear that federal trial courts remain overburdened and understaffed. While abuse of Senate rules such as the filibuster played a major role in creating this judicial backlog, last November’s reforms to the filibuster for nominations have not fully alleviated the crisis.
Thursday, February 20th, 2014
After several years of unprecedented gridlock and obstruction, the U.S. Senate adopted reforms last November to allow majority votes for most presidential nominees. This important step forward for the chamber permitted the confirmation of over a dozen qualified judicial and executive branch nominees.
Monday, February 10th, 2014
Last November’s reforms to Senate rules were a step forward that led to an initial round of confirmations for qualified nominees. Unfortunately, 2014 has proven to be a year of inaction, with Senate Republicans successfully halting or delaying the confirmations of most of President Obama’s nominees.
Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Despite a strong majority supporting a three-month extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed, a minority of Senators succeeded in filibustering the legislation this afternoon, blocking the measure from clearing the needed 60-vote threshold.