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Fix the Senate Now

As newly elected Senators arrive at the Capitol for orientation this week one thing’s for sure, the prospect of Senate rules reform is now closer than ever.

A recent New York Times editorial put things into perspective.

Fix the Senate Now

It’s going to be a new day in the Senate.

Seven Democratic senators elect — Tammy Baldwin (WI), Martin Heinrich (NM), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Mazie Hirono (HI), Tim Kaine (VA), Chris Murphy (CT) and Elizabeth Warren (MA) — have all committed to “fix the broken Senate by reforming the filibuster.”

Fix the Senate Now

“I’m about as liberal and lefty as they come,” admits Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla in a recent Under the Radar interview. “But this is something that I absolutely support, regardless of who is in power.”

Walla was speaking about reforms to the rules in the United States Senate that would help end the obstruction that has occurred in the past few years.

Fix the Senate Now

With only one day until the election, and a presidential race still as tight as ever, the nation may or may not choose to give President Barack Obama a second term in office.

Voters may choose whether or not to re-elect Obama for a second term for all sorts of reasons, but there’s one thing they can’t pin on the president, the gridlock in the Senate.

Fix the Senate Now

Senate rules reform didn’t make it into last night’s lively vice presidential debate. But Rep. Paul Ryan, D-Wis., did offer a bit of revisionist history:

"Let's not forget that they came in with one-party control. When Barack Obama was elected, his party controlled everything," Ryan said."They had the ability to do everything of their choosing, and look at where we are right now."

Fix the Senate Now

Vice Presidents have a unique role in relation to the Senate. As the president of the Senate, the Vice President holds the tie-breaking vote.

So, ahead of Thursday’s debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Senate rules reform is a particularly relevant issue. The process for rules reform in the next Congress will be hotly debated, and the Vice President’s vote may be critical.

Fix the Senate Now

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., is another lawmaker who believes the rules in the United States Senate are preventing good legislation from being passed.

Cantwell believes today’s version of filibustering is too easy to do and helps to contribute to partisan gridlock.

Fix the Senate Now

Changing the Senate rules to reduce partisan gridlock is a hot-button issue inside the Beltway and on the campaign trail.

As the rules currently stand, only a supermajority of 60 Senate members can overcome opposition to pass legislation and confirm judicial appointments.

Fix the Senate Now

Seventeen long-standing nominees for federal court saw their appointments railroaded last Thursday, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a request to vote on the judges.

Fix the Senate Now

Last Wednesday, the broken rules and procedural obstructionism that have plagued the U.S. Senate for years claimed their latest victim: The Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012.