Statement: Senate Reforms Filibuster Rules
January 27, 2011
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement after the Senate voted today for changes in filibuster rules that have been abused by Republicans to block legislation:
“The old rules let senators use parliamentary tactics to block bills that had broad, bipartisan support. Legislation could be stopped without senators even coming to the Senate floor to debate the merits of a bill. The old rules let senators secretly hold up nominees for judgeships and other offices subject to Senate confirmation. Practices designed to protect the rights of minorities were hijacked by Republicans to delay for the sake of delay. To be blunt, the Senate too often was dysfunctional. That is why I voted in favor of several reforms that would have gone a long way toward cleaning up the mess while preserving meaningful opportunities for senators on both sides of the aisle to seriously debate an issue.
“While some proposals I supported did not pass, I am pleased that the Senate agreed to at least some modest but meaningful revisions of its rules. We have ended secret holds, reduced the number of presidential nominations that require Senate confirmation, ended the ability of a single senator to force the reading of an amendment as a delaying tactic, and reduced the use of filibusters to block even taking up a bill for debate.”