On the Senate filibuster
Hurry up and wait, and sometimes vote before the bill is written
There is (or at least should be) a rule in politics: when the will of a substantial majority of the public is known on an issue, the government shall normally oblige. The filibuster in the United States Senate threatens that rule.
There are a lot of proposals to “fix” the filibuster. Many are simply proposals to eliminate it in disguise. Others are clearly partisan; the suggestion that a filibuster should be defeated by support of senators representing a majority of the population is obviously unworkable; it would be replaced the minute Republicans got a majority in the Senate.
Any proposal to replace the filibuster (as opposed to the continued proposals to eliminate it) must respect the deliberative nature of the Senate.
We propose specifically that Senate Rule 22 is changed as follows:
By October the 1st of each election year, the Majority Leader and Minority Leader shall each present up to 10 bills to the Parliamentarian of the Senate.
The bills are referred to as the "election platform".
One of the bills can be of any length, the other bills must be under 10 pages each.
In the following Senate, motions for cloture on those bills shall only require a majority of those present and voting.
Any bill passed by the House that is "substantially identical" to a bill in either election platform will, for any parliamentary motion to proceed, only require a majority of those present and voting.
In this way, the elected government can pass its election platform without a super-majority of seats.
The Majority and Minority Leaders in the Senate shall each have the privilege to bring to the floor any bill passed by the House that is "substantially identical" to the bill in the election platform, for debate and majority approval, with no possibility of amendment.
This proposal is designed to be non-partisan, while respecting the privileges of the minority. Unpopular legislation can be rejected at the ballot box before it even reaches debate in Congress. When control of Congress is split, the election platform of the House majority will be able to get an up-or-down vote in the Senate.