June 24, 2021

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End the Senate filibuster and force the GOP and Dems to govern instead of blame | Letters – Chicago Sun-Times

3 min read

Senate Democrats should get rid of the legislative filibuster. The United States has come to a point where members of Congress no longer find they can work across the aisle to pass legislation. With the filibuster in place, our legislative branch of government is ineffective in a way we have never seen before.

The need to have 60 votes in the Senate to pass most legislation now results in session after session during which little substantive policy comes out of Congress, and political campaigns are focused on rhetoric alone. Republicans create fear about a Democratic agenda that can never get passed, and develop no real policy plans of their own because they know they will never have to do the hard work of governing.

Removal of the filibuster rule will force both parties to govern and then run on their records. This could lead to a moderating of the political process, as it will be harder for parties to coalesce around extreme talking points that they need not follow through on.

It is possible, even likely, that removal of the filibuster would initially result in increased policy instability as power changes hands in Washington. Some currently touted terrible policy ideas might be enacted. However, politicians would have to defend their records and the policies they have passed to stay in office instead of, as they do now, continually blaming the other side for the fact that nothing has gotten done.

This is not a partisan opinion, held only because Democrats now hold the majority. If you are a Republican and believe that the ideas of Democrats make for bad policy, you’ll have a better case that your party should hold power.

James Miller, Logan Square

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be 350 words or less.

Biden’s mask mandate

When he was a candidate, Joe Biden acknowledged that as president he could not mandate masks for all Americans. He acknowledged he could require them only on federal property.

What Jacob Sullum left out in a recent column on Biden’s policy with respect to masks is that he always said he would lean on the governors to mandate masks in their states.

Darlene Ruffin, Douglas

Cruz’s hypocrisy on Trump

In an interview recently with Ted Cruz, he posed the question to Congress of whether we “really want to start the new administration by being vindictive” in pursuing legal action against Donald Trump.

I wonder how the good senator would feel if a group of thugs stormed through his front door, destroyed his home and beat his family. Would he then ask the legal community not to be vindictive in pursuing legal action against the thugs?

John Livaich, Oak Lawn

A better nation

I am so grateful that our country recognized the need to correct and right itself and then found the strength and courage to do so. That’s the first leg of our journey to a better nation. We all have a lot of work to do!

Northa Johnson, Streeterville

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