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Video: Jim Webb Skeptical on Filibuster Reform

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I had a chance to attend State Senator Chap Petersen’s annual Business Leaders Breakfast (thanks for the invite!) this morning, and the guest of honor was Sen. Jim Webb. I’ve got video of Webb speaking on a variety of topics, including criminal justice reform, foreign policy, health care reform, the budget deficit, economic fairness, and unions. I’ll be posting those shortly. For now, here’s Webb speaking about filibuster reform and the “paralysis” that has “invaded the Senate.” Key points:

*Webb agrees that the Senate has been paralyzed the past two years, largely blames the GOP strategy to slow down/stop everything in order to “prove” that “Democrats can’t govern”

*Webb believes that the way the filibuster – and things like secret “holds” – has been used has been absurd.

*But, despite all this, Webb is skeptical that we should change the rules, especially with just 51 votes, when it’s possible that “down the line” the Republicans could be in charge and “dramatically” change the rules themselves. According to Webb, “I’m not sure that’s a great way to go in terms of the stability of the Senate.”

  • Jim B

    While I would like to see something done Webb is probably right. There is not much chance anything will get passed in the next 2 years considering the do nothing house and despite the dems having 2/3 of pie. Only those things the senate does on its own like affirming judges would revamping the filibuster make sense.

  • Steve Vaughan

    I don’t see that changing the filibuster rules back to what they were pre-1975 is that big a change. And calling it the “Mr. Smith Act” is genius, if enough of the electorate is old enough to remember that movie.

  • Does Webb not know that if the GOP took back the Senate, the first thing they would do on the first day is eliminate the filibuster entirely?