End the Senate filibuster to get things done in Washington

The filibuster slows progress on critical issues. It’s time to put an end to this Jim Crow relic and make sure our government is working for us.

The filibuster is a loophole, historically used to block civil rights legislation. Although the original Senate rules did not include the filibuster, the modern-day filibuster was put in place in the Jim Crow era, when racist Southern senators used it to delay passage of important civil rights legislation. Now, the filibuster means that 60 out of 100 U.S. senators have to agree to almost all legislation.

Many of us may remember Jimmy Stewart filibustering in the film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” But nowadays senators no longer need to hold the floor, talking until they drop. The filibuster has become a stealth tool of obstruction. Any senator can signal an objection, and suddenly the Senate has to clear a 60-vote threshold.

With the current 50-50 deadlock between the two parties and with Republicans refusing to vote for any Democratic-initiated bill, the Senate has become dysfunctional. So currently, every issue you may care about will likely be held hostage by the filibuster.

If we reform Senate rules, we have a real chance at:

  • voting rights and campaign finance reform.
  • immigration reform.
  • gun safety.
  • raising the minimum wage.
  • action on climate change.
  • police accountability and racial justice.

We sent Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul to Washington to get things done for us – their constituents.

They must end the filibuster and do the job that we, their constituents, sent them to Washington to do: legislate.

We should let them know how we feel.

Ronn Kistler

Bowling Green