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
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