Sen. Amy Klobuchar is a part of a movement in the Senate to reform the use of the filibuster, and together with Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York she’s circulating a petition urging changes to the Senate rules.
Until the 1970s, breaking a filibuster required 67 votes, and currently it takes 60 votes to break a filibuster. Senate Democrats want that threshold lowered, possibly as low as 51 votes (Democrats currently have the majority with 53 members). They also want changes to the way senators can filibuster by ending the silent objection which allows the stoppage of legislation to be anonymous.
The Klobuchar petition says:
The current rules in the United States Senate make it far too easy to obstruct. Any senator can halt progress on important bills by threatening to filibuster without explanation.
If a senator wants to block a bill with a filibuster, he or she should stand on the floor of the Senate and make the case to the American people.
This is the month to change the filibuster rules. Please stand with Senators Klobuchar and Gillibrand in asking their Senate colleagues to reform the filibuster now.
Klobuchar has backed filibuster reform at least since last April when she spoke with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on the issue:
Klobuchar: “So, a number of us are saying, well, can we get it down some more? Can we still allow for this debate? Can we allow for people to stand on the floor and push the filibuster so they have to own what they’re doing? If they want to filibuster unemployment benefits for people who are out of work for no fault of their own because Wall Street messed up, are they going to take to the floor and do that day after day after day? That’s another reform that we’d love to see.”
Maddow: “And you’d support that?”