Some of the most vocal opponents of the move to change U.S. Senate rules, including a proposal to help unblock Senate gridlock by ending the “silent filibuster” and actually forcing filibustering senators to take to the floor and talk if they want to block legislation, are lobbyists who profit from Senate dysfunction.
The Nation’s Lee Fang outlines how Republican-led filibusters and “silent holds” on nominations have resulted in some Big Business windfalls for corporations that just happened to be large contributors to the senators’ campaigns. Sort of an everybody wins situation for lobbyists, lawmakers and corporations, but pretty much a losing proposition for the rest of us.
Fang points to Steven Duffield, the vice president for policy for Karl Rove’s “dark money” group Crossroads GPS, as one of the most vigorous rules reform opponents who has touted his ability to get Republican lawmakers to unleash filibusters and holds and who, writes Fang, “literally sold filibusters, anonymous holds and the other forms of obstruction” during his 2011 lobbying work. Read Fang’s full story.
Don’t forget most of these same lawmakers, corporations and right-wing groups have used filibusters and holds to block bills, such as the DREAM Act and the American Jobs Act, and nominees, such as Elizabeth Warren to head up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as well as appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.
You can learn more by visiting “Fix the Senate Now,” part of the campaign led by the Communications Workers of America and other groups to reform Senate rules, and check out this video, The Shocking Truth About the U.S. Senate.