The Filibuster Rule is Broken: It's Time to Fix It

WASHINGTON – The Senate minority today used the filibuster rule to block legislation we need to protect voting rights, which are under attack in nearly every state.

Mitchell Bernard, president of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) made the following statement:

 “The Senate filibuster rule is broken. It’s time to fix it, through reforms that encourage bipartisanship without enabling a petulant and self-serving minority to grind the gears of good governance to a halt and block the legislative progress the country so urgently needs.

“There are several ways this might be done, but three goals are essential. Under the current rule, 60 senators must support a bill before it may advance to a debate and an up or down vote. Instead, it should be on those who seek to block legislation to gather the votes required to stop it. Next, senators must be required to be present to block legislation, just as they must be to vote for it. And, in no event should the minority be permitted to prevent senators from even debating a bill, as is the case now, so the public can understand what’s at stake and where individual senators stand.

“A functioning legislature cannot allow process to paralyze progress. It’s time to fix the broken filibuster, clear the way for good-faith compromise, and get the Senate back in the business of legislating for the public good, not obstructing in the service of partisan gain.”

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.