If you care about the climate crisis, racial equity and income disparity, the presidential election and Georgia Senate runoff results were good news. As when Barack Obama took office in 2009, there is Democratic control of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
There is also once again Mitch McConnell and the filibuster which, as in 2009, will be used to thwart critical legislation.
Ending the filibuster requires a simple majority vote and both senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray appear to be straddling the fence on its elimination.
Murray has said she prefers to develop bipartisan legislation because it will be less likely to be reversed and mentions examples of bills she has helped pass through bipartisan efforts.
This certainly sounds reasonable, but requires a good faith effort by both sides.
President Obama spent valuable time in negotiations to make the Affordable Care Act address many of the issues brought forth by conservative legislators and achieved zero votes from them followed by attempts to overturn the act through the courts.
While there have been bipartisan successes, they have not effectively addressed critical challenges our nation faces, including decreased standard of living for many as wealth concentrates into fewer hands, increased corporate influence in our government, a failure to address the climate crisis and, embarrassingly for our democracy, the protection of voting rights.
The net effect of the legislative filibuster has not been constructive.
It’s time to end its rambling and place our fate with consistent and intense advocacy for the politicians and legislative action that secure voting rights and craft a future for all.
Our Washington state senators have served us with excellence for many years.
We need them now, more than ever, to be dauntless and join their colleague Sen. Amy Klobuchar in the call for eliminating the legislative filibuster.
Donald J. Miller