Organization Leaders Join Public in Voicing Support for Talking Filibuster & Broad Senate Reform
Washington, DC – Leaders of the Fix the Senate Now coalition reacted today to new PPP polling that found overwhelming public support for changing the U.S. Senate rules in order to cut down on unprecedented gridlock and obstruction.
Conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) in 10 states – Arkansas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont – the polling found broad support for proposed Senate rules changes. In particular, the public backs such proposed rules changes as the “talking filibuster” – by a 70%-20% margin, the public wants Senators to have to debate bills on the Senate floor in order to maintain filibusters.
Among the reactions to the polling and the ongoing rules reform debate, include the following quotes from key leaders in the Fix the Senate Now coalition:
Michael Waldman, President of the Brennan Center for Justice: “Our government is broken and the American people clearly want it fixed. Right now, a single senator can prevent a vote on a bill with no more than a phone call. We need to change the rule that has led to this abuse, and 70 percent of Americans agree: filibustering Senators should stay on the floor and talk about why they are blocking legislation. Only by fixing the filibuster can we revitalize Congress so it can get to work on the numerous challenges facing our nation.”
Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director: "The Senate is broken, and this poll shows you don't have to be a beltway insider to know that. Whether its our climate crisis or the fiscal showdown, the American people want to see Washington working to solve our most pressing problems - not standing in the way. That's why Americans all across the country overwhelmingly support reforms to end the obstructions and fix the Senate."
George Kohl, Senior Director at the Communications Workers of America (CWA): “The American people are fed up with gridlock and smart enough to know that the Senate filibusters are being abused. Momentum is growing for change and this poll shows forcing a talking filibuster is the most popular reform.”
Nan Aron, President, Alliance for Justice: “This poll makes clear that Senate rules reform is all about respecting the will of the people. One area where we can see how the filibuster has been used to thwart that will is in the area of judgeships. The filibuster has been abused to block even noncontroversial nominations. Senate Republicans have abused the filibuster to engage in a massive denial of justice. Ending this denial of justice requires reforming the rules of the Senate – and the public knows it.”
Bob Edgar, Common Cause President: “We can no longer afford to let a minority of US senators block action on critical issues and routinely grind Washington to a halt. It’s wrong, and it’s unconstitutional. It’s time to restore majority rule in Washington and get the country moving again.”
To access the PPP polling results on Senate rules reform, visit http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/AggregatedResults.pdf
For more on the need for Senate rules reform, please visit www.fixthesenatenow.org
Contact: Michael Earls at 202-261-2388, email@example.com