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In 2010, unions and other progressive groups formed a coalition to pressure the Senate to reform filibuster rules—unsuccessfully, as we know. Now, with more Democratic leaders understanding the necessity of reining in abuse of the filibuster as a tool for obstruction, the band is getting back together; the Fix the Senate coalition includes unions—the Communications Workers of America and the United Auto Workers—along with the Sierra Club and good-government group Common Cause.

Infographic showing sharp increase of use of filibuster for obstruction in the Senate.
The Fix the Senate coalition makes the stakes clear:
Republicans derailed energy and climate legislation, halted the DREAM Act, which passed the House while receiving 55 votes in the Senate, and blocked any debate on the Employee Free Choice Act, which passed the House with an overwhelming majority and garnered 59 supporters in the Senate. Most recently, in July, the DISCLOSE Act—which would have increased transparency over independent groups’ campaign spending—failed to overcome a Republican filibuster and died, despite receiving support from 51 Senators and past support from many current Republican opponents. Also in July, Senate Republicans blocked the Bring Jobs Home Act, which would have encouraged in-sourcing by providing tax incentives to companies that bring jobs back to the United States from overseas.
In other words, if you want the government to work at all, Republicans used the filibuster to block something you valued. The only people the current system is working for are those who want government to be broken.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:56 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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