WASHINGTON — A group of Senate Democrats, led by New Mexico’s Tom Udall and including Amy Klobuchar, has released its plan to change the Senate’s filibuster rules. The plan is to be formally introduced later today.
Interestingly, the Udall-Klobuchar plan (PDF) does not include a lowering of the number of senators required to invoke cloture, currently set at 60.
The plan has five key components:
- Motions to proceed would no longer be able to be filibustered. This would eliminate the filibustering of a bill that hasn’t even made it to debate yet.
- “Holds” would have to be public. No more anonymity.
- As a concession to Republicans, the plan includes a guaranteed right of the minority and majority to offer amendments on any bill, so long as they’re germane (on topic).
- Jimmy Stewart-style filibusters. If you want to continue debating a bill after a cloture vote fails, you have to speak continuously to do so.
- Debate after cloture votes would get reduced to two hours on nominations.