WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Walter Mondale will headline a Minnesota-heavy Senate hearing on filibuster reform this morning — three of the four scheduled expert witnesses have significant ties to the Gopher State.
Mondale, of course, is a Minnesota political icon whose resume is about as full as it gets. Particular to this hearing, Mondale served 12 years in the Senate (from 1964-76), then became Jimmy Carter’s vice president, the duties of which include being president of the Senate.
The two other Minnesotans testifying are Steve Smith, a political science professor who commutes from Minnesota to teach at Washington University in St. Louis, and Norm Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a Minnesota native. Former Oklahoma Republican Sen. Don Nickles is also scheduled to speak.
If you’ve been reading my colleague Eric Black’s excellent work on the filibuster this year then you’ve no doubt got a pretty good idea of what the Minnesota trio will say tomorrow. If not, I’d suggest them as a primer on today’s hearing.
The first, “Fixing the filibuster problem: What Mondale would do,” is self-explanatory. The second, “The filibuster and rendering America ungovernable,” is a lengthy analysis that quotes or cites both Smith and Ornstein.
Today’s Senate Rules Committee hearing will be webcast live on the committee’s website. It begins at 9 a.m. CDT.