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Filibuster Reform Would Save the Senate, Not Kill It

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) turned his rhetoric up to 11 by claiming Harry Reid (D-NV) would “kill the Senate” if we move to make it easier to confirm executive nominees to executive branch positions. McConnell’s team even went so far as to tweet a picture of Reid’s tombstone to drive home the point.

Apparently, trying to make the Senate marginally more functional by bringing the rules more in line with the clear intent of Constitution would destroy the magic of the chamber. According to McConnell, if the Senate stops being a highly dysfunctional body where the minority has an unjustifiable veto over everything it might as well not exist.

What Reid is threatening to do would not kill the Senate, it would help save it by preventing its growing dysfunction from rendering it irrelevant.

Just because the Senate has stopped functioning doesn’t mean the rest of the federal government has. The machinery of the government needs to keep moving so it has found ways to basically cut the dysfunctional Senate out of the loop.

The powers which should rest with the Senate have been effectively transferred elsewhere because the Senate has become so bogged down in its owns silly rules. The process of fixing old legislation has essentially been taken over by the courts, regulators and the executive branch. The executive branch has been force to act unilaterally to set new policies on issues ranging from climate change to immigration. Even the incredibly important function of declaring war has been outsourced to the White House.

The only way the Senate can again start serving the role for it was intended for is if it can fix itself first.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at