Action is heating up by a coalition of "progressive" groups - including unions, Common Cause and the Sierra Club - to reform U.S. Senate filibuster rules to end the gridlock it causes in Washington. Fix the Senate Now outlines its case here.
Approval of legislation and judicial confirmation has slowed to a crawl. To fix that, the group proposes:
* Eliminate the ability to filibuster the motion to proceed;
* Require that those wishing to block legislation or nominations take the floor and actually filibuster — i.e., mandating “talking filibusters”;
* Assert that 41 Senators must affirmatively vote to continue debate rather than forcing 60 Senators to vote to end debate; and,
* Streamline the nomination process so that nominees will get a yes or no vote on the Senate floor, including a reduction of the required 30 hours of post cloture debate on a nominee to 2 hours.
Sounds reasonable. Reasonable isn't much in fashion these days, however.