I received this email from Senator Udall concerning his filibuster reform effort. Here is my reply.


   Dear David,

 This week, the latest round of the filibuster fight came to a close. While we achieved steps in the right direction, the Senate lacked the will to enact the truly substantive reforms that we desired. But as my Uncle Mo used to say, reform is not for the short-winded, and my commitment to making the Senate a more transparent and efficient body to better serve the American people is stronger than ever. Your activism has successfully shaken up the institution in a way that hasn’t happened in more than 35 years. We HAVE put the Senate on notice that when our country calls out obstruction, it’s time we take a hard look at the way we do business here. We forced an important discussion on rules reform, and there were important victories: 

  • We’ve finally put an end to “secret holds” so now senators must be on the record opposing bills and nominees. This will help restore some accountability to the chamber so that senators are no longer able to block bills and nominees without facing the consequences of doing so.
  • We’re reducing the number of Executive branch nominees that require confirmation so the President can appoint the best and brightest to government and fill empty posts without unnecessary delay in the Senate;
  • We neutralized an important obstructionist tactic — forcing bills and amendments to be read in their entirety on the Senate floor;
  • And finally, we sent a clear message that unprecedented gridlock is unacceptable, culminating in an agreement between leadership to make the Senate more deliberative than obstructive.

None of these changes would have happened without the crucial support of citizens who are engaged in how Congress really works, like you. 

I continue to believe that the source of obstruction is the Senate rules, and the fight must go on to enact truly substantive reform. We’ve seen the movement for reform continue to grow the past few years, and the debate must go on. 

Historically, movements to reform the Senate have taken multiple Congresses to enact. I believe, one day, people will look back at this moment as the starting point of a much bigger, lasting reform. 

Thank you for all that you have done and thank you for your ongoing commitment to fixing our Senate. 


Tom Udall 



Senator Udall,  

Although I support any effort to change the rules in order to make the Senate a functioning legislative body instead of the place where all good legislation goes to die, nothing of substance was achieved and nothing to reduce the abuse of the rules was achieved.  

I especially take issue with your statement “I continue to believe that the source of obstruction is the Senate rules…”  The source of obstruction is not the rules but the abuse of the rules. You know this. I know this. Your fellow Senators know this. Anyone who follows this topic knows this. Believe what you want Senator, but you deny the truth.  

The reason no substantive changes were enacted is because selling your ability to filibuster to the highest bidder is big business in the Senate.  

Please feel free to send an email when you have accomplished something of substance on this issue.