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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/9/13

Lobbyists Who Profit From Senate Dysfunction Fight Filibuster Reform

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Cross-posted from The Nation

Both Democratic and Republican senators have protected contributors with filibusters. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

As momentum builds to reform the horrendously broken rules of the Senate, a cadre of Washington D.C. politicos are fighting back, arguing that the filibuster in its current form must be preserved.

Last week, Steven Duffield, in an opinion column for The Washington Examiner, pleaded for the status quo, claiming "Senate liberals want to gut" the filibuster, which he called a "long-standing protection for minorities." Duffield, bylined simply as "vice president for policy at Crossroads GPS," didn't point to any examples of filibusters protecting the rights of minorities or marginalized groups. He listed other complaints, like the charge that rules reform will allow the Senate to "rubber stamp" Obama's nominees to the Supreme Court.

In reality, the proposed reforms do not affect appointments to the Supreme Court. And a more comprehensive reading of the filibuster's history would show that when it comes to civil rights for oppressed minority groups, the filibuster has actually served as a great obstacle for justice.

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LEE FANG  Lee Fang is a  reporting fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. He covers money in politics, conservative movements and lobbying. Lee's work has resulted in multiple calls for hearings in Congress and the (more...)
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