By U.S. Senator Brian Schatz
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Senator Brian Schatz announced his support of reforms to Senate rules related to the filibuster.
“I strongly believe in the importance of the filibuster to the Senate,” said Senator Schatz. “It protects the right of every member to be heard and the rights of the minority. But what has happened over the past three Congresses is unprecedented and has grinded the business of the Senate to a stop. In the past six years there were 391 cloture motions filed; there was just one during the six years during which Lyndon Johnson served as Senate Majority Leader. This has to change, and the reforms being proposed by Senators Harkin, Lautenberg, Udall, and Merkley are common-sense and will increase our ability to do the people’s work.”
“This is a matter of great importance both to the Senate and our entire nation as it will impact not just what becomes law during this Congress but what is enacted well into the future. I take seriously my decision and appreciate the thoughtful efforts in recent years to improve Senate rules,” said Senator Schatz.
“The filibuster is a critical safeguard in protecting the minority from oppression, and therefore it will continue to have an important role in our representative democracy,” said Senator Schatz. “However, the filibuster has changed since the first days of the republic, and it should continue to be refined as we work to perfect our system of government. Without such improvement, the Senate will impede its own ability to make progress on so many issues of importance to the American people.”
“Therefore, I am supporting these reforms, and I am hopeful that the Senate as an institution will continue modifying its rules, procedures, and practices to protect the rights of the minority and to better enable it to function,” said Senator Schatz.