Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sen. Barbara Boxer: Senate Filibuster Abused, But It Has Its Place

So I guess this is turning into a political blogging day. I didn't plan it that way, but let's just go with it.

Barbara Boxer, Democratic U.S. senator from California, was asked today about the filibuster, which allows a senator or a party to hold up all action on a bill it dislikes.

Responding to an audience question at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club, a public forum, she said the filibuster has its place. The problem, she said, is that it's being abused just to be obstructive. The filibuster formerly was used rarely and for major points of contention between the parties in the Senate, she said, but now "it's being used on motions to adjourn."

Boxer also shared her suggestions about ways to reform the filibuster process. "I think you should have to stand on your feet all night if you want to filibuster," she said. Boxer added that the number of votes required to end a filibuster should be reduced from 60 to 55, which would still present enough of a hurdle to protect the minority party.

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