Home Bob Goodlatte: Senate rules standing in the way

Bob Goodlatte: Senate rules standing in the way


goodlattefourinSometimes, the majority rules – or at least you would think that’s the way it should be in Congress. But that’s not the case under the United States Senate’s modern filibuster rules. Instead of needing a simple 51-vote majority to pass legislation, the Senate rules require a super-majority of 60 votes to even advance legislation so that it can be voted on.

This modern filibuster rule has only been around since the 1970s. Our Founding Fathers did not intend for the people’s representatives to shut down the process of debating and voting on issues important to the country, but that is essentially what is happening. The House has passed many good, common sense bills to help grow the American economy and create more opportunity for American families. But they come to a grinding halt in the Senate, often because of this rule.

The list of bills languishing at the hands of the Senate’s filibuster rule continues to grow, including legislation to block the Iran Nuclear Agreement, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and repealing the President’s health care law. Whether bills like these pass or fail is not the point. Without the opportunity for a vote, the American people do not get to see where their elected representatives stand on the issues.

It does not make sense that the Senate’s rules would prevent lawmakers, elected by the people, to even consider meaningful solutions to the challenges our country faces. Changing the Senate rules should not be a partisan issue, and I have long supported these changes, including when Republicans were in the minority in the Senate. It should be about good government and ensuring Congress is operating effectively on behalf of our constituents. I again urge the Senate to change the rules standing in its way.

Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth District of Virginia in Congress.



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