Congresswoman Chellie Pingree says Senate standing in the way of important provisions to support America’s families, veterans, small business and crack down on Wall Street
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree has begun circulating a letter among her House colleagues calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to end the “silent filibuster” that allows a minority of Senators to easily block important legislation.
“If a group of Senators wants to block legislation that helps provide jobs for wounded veterans or cracks down on predatory lending practices of big banks, they should be forced to do it in the light of day,” Pingree said. “The American people deserve to see these important issues debated openly and not silently blocked.”
Traditionally a filibuster required that Senators who opposed a bill to debate the issue openly on the floor of the Senate. In order to block a bill from coming to a vote they would be required to keep debating—“filibustering.” Currently the Senate doesn’t require that continued debate, allowing a minority of Senators to stop a bill dead in its tracks without being forced to actually filibuster. And in certain situations a single Senator can even put an anonymous hold on a bill for an indefinite amount of time.
To date, the House has passed 290 pieces of legislation—many of them with significant bipartisan support—that have become stalled in the Senate, including bills that support working-class families, crack down on Wall Street, help small businesses and support veterans. Find out more about those bills here.
“This Congress has a choice between the failed policies of the past—tax breaks for the rich, deregulation of Wall Street and letting CEOs control health care—and the change this country truly deserves. If any Senator chooses to filibuster efforts to create jobs, crack down on Wall Street, and fix our broken health care system, then they must make that choice in full view of the American people and commit the time and effort required for such a procedure,” Pingree wrote.
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