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Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I found this article on an SEIU BLOG website.  Looks like the DEMS are going to try to get healthcare by changing the "rules of engagement!"  We need to call Harkin and let him know we will not stand for him or anyone else changing the rules! 
His contact information is as follows:  website: 
Address and phone: WASHINGTON DC OFFICE
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-3254 Phone
(202) 224-9369 Fax
(202) 224-4633 TDD

His offices in Iowa:
5:18 PM Eastern - December 14, 2009
 Update: Harkin Suggests He May Reintroduce Cloture Reform

Last week, SEIU launched a petition to Sen. Joe Lieberman pushing back on his plans to filibuster health insurance reform. The petition points to the year 1995, when Sen. Joe Lieberman co-sponsored legislation with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) to abolish the filibuster. In January of 1995, Lieberman spent weeks making a case to the American people that the filibuster was being abused - that it was nothing more than a tool for obstructing democracy. So far, nearly 10,000 people have signed on to urge Sen. Lieberman to heed the words of his former Senate self, and quit threatening to filibuster health insurance reform.

Well, people are taking notice. Sen. Tom Harkin told reporters this weekend that he's considering re-introducing the same legislation he co-sponsored with Lieberman in 1995. The bill would reform the cloture vote, making it impossible for Joe to get away with precisely what he's doing right now - holding health insurance reform hostage for his own political gain.

Sen. Harkin told the Hawk Eye:

I think, if anything, this health care debate is showing the dangers of unlimited filibuster," Harkin said Thursday during a conference call with reporters. "I think there's a reason for slowing things down ... and getting the public aware of what's happening and maybe even to change public sentiment, but not to just absolutely stop something."

As the Huffington Post notes, under Harkin's measure, a debate could be prolonged by the minority, but not forever.

"You could hold something up for maybe a month, but then, finally you'd come down to 51 votes and a majority would be able to pass," Harkin said. "I may revive that. I pushed it very hard at one time and then things kind of got a little better."

Sen. Harkin confirmed what others have suggested - that the modern-day filibuster is not used as it was originally intended.

"Today, in the age of instant news and Internet and rapid travel -- you can get from anywhere to here within a day or a few hours -- the initial reasons for the filibuster kind of fall by the wayside, and now it's got into an abusive situation," Harkin said.

He and the constitutional scholars agree that the intention was never to hold up legislation entirely.

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