Since I first came to the Senate about a year ago I've been consistently frustrated by how the filibuster is abused to bring progress to a halt.
If you turned on the news yesterday, what you saw was yet another Republican filibuster killing an important piece of legislation. This isn't a "might happen," or a "could happen" stalling tactic -- this has been happening since even before I got here. And it will continue happening unless we stop it, once and for all.
There is a critical Senate hearing today to discuss my bill to stop frivolous filibusters and end the secret holds that too often stymie progress.
It's no accident that the bill the Republicans filibustered yesterday was the DISCLOSE Act: a critical piece of legislation that would require corporations and special interests that pay for political advertisements to disclose their funding.
This legislation is especially important now, with the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United that opened up the floodgates for hidden corporate donations to influence campaigns -- even from foreign sources.
My bill would stop this. It limits the time filibusters can stall debate. It would stop filibusters on procedural votes that now can derail entire bills. And it would require those who threaten to filibuster to do it on the Senate floor where all of America can see their obstruction.
Finally, my bill would end the "secret hold" practice -- a completely antiquated rule that allows a single Senator to anonymously torpedo legislation with no repercussions or explanation owed for their actions. In fact, just this week a bill I helped introduce fell victim to a secret hold by another Democrat and was killed without explanation -- a bill to boost child nutrition no less.
It's critical that we get these reforms passed now. We cannot wait for abuse of the filibuster to halt progress over and over again. Let's show my colleagues the strength of the grassroots support for this legislation, and for reforming Washington, before we miss the chance.
I need your support to make sure this bill makes it through committee and to the Senate floor for a vote ASAP.
I know we're not going to be able to reform how Washington works overnight, but we need to take this important first step.