Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Long First Day

The first day of the 2013-2014 session of the United States Senate began on January 2nd but apparently won’t end until January 22nd. How does that work? Well, normally a session day would end with adjournment, but the day is extended by going into recess instead of adjourning.

I might have never noticed this clever move if it were not for my interest in business that must be conducted on the first session day; day one is the day that the Senate adopts it rules and many of us are asking our Senators to end the silent filibuster and the secret holds. If the Senate fails to change its rules on the first session day, it will not change its rules for another two years.

Moderate and conservative senators from both parties are desperate to present the appearance of reforming rules without actually reforming the rules. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) has joined with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to protect the filibuster from serious reform with a watered down measure.

If you haven’t done so already, there is still time to let your senators know that you want serious reform to end the silent filibuster and the secret hold. Tell them you support the proposal being offered by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Tom Udall (D-NM).