facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Democrats want new rules in the Senate

Dec. 24, 2010 at 5:34 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Most Democratic senators want to make filibusters more difficult when the U.S. Senate reconvenes in January and to end the practice of "secret holds."

A letter to the party leadership on Dec. 18 was signed by 56 Democrats and independents, almost the entire caucus, The New York Times reported. The group suggested Republicans are abusing the current rules.

The minority does not have to hold a filibuster to block a bill from a vote, instead calling for a vote to close debate, which requires 60 votes. Republicans have done that 90 times in two years.

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., told the Times he plans to call for a vote on rule changes when the new session starts. He and other Democrats argue that requires only a simple majority.

Democrats want a requirement that senators would have to be on the floor for a debate. They would also like to bar their colleagues from placing holds on bills or nominations, a practice that dates back to an era when getting to Washington took days or weeks.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., warned Democrats to be cautious.

"You don't want to create a freight train running through the Senate like it does in the House because in two years it might be the Tea Party Express," he said. "We need a change in behavior more than a change in rules."

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
The UN has released its list of leaders attending climate summit The UN has released its list of leaders attending climate summit
2
Hurricane Odile now a dangerous category 4 storm Hurricane Odile now a dangerous category 4 storm
3
Navy halts search for missing jet pilot after crash Navy halts search for missing jet pilot after crash
4
Mary Landrieu spent $33K of taxpayers' money on campaign travel Mary Landrieu spent $33K of taxpayers' money on campaign travel
5
Bernie Sanders says he may run for president in 2016 Bernie Sanders says he may run for president in 2016
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback