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Sen. Kisten Gillibrand urges filibuster reform, goes on Jon Stewart's Daily Show tonight

Jan 04, 2011 11:03 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand"][/caption]U.S. Senator and former Columbia County resident Kirsten Gillibrand, who will be appearing as a guest tonight on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, sent out a missive this morning about how she and fellow Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tom Udall, and Jeff Merkley have started working to change the filibuster rule. “It’s up to you—the grassroots—to tell the Senate to end this gridlock,” she writes. “Until recently, the filibuster was used sparingly, as a last-ditch way for the minority party to make its voice heard. Nowadays, the filibuster is being abused to an unprecedented degree as a way to obstruct bills that have the support of the majority… We are facing unprecedented challenges for America and it is wrong for the Senate to maintain a rule that effectively blocks solutions to these challenges.”

New York’s freshman Senator, who was appointed by Gov. David Paterson to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton in early 2009 when the latter was named the U.S. Secretary of State – and then won an electoral okay for her position this past November – noted how the 112th Congress is set to start tomorrow, January 5, and “that is when we can begin the fight to change Senate rules to end the destructive use of the filibuster.”

Gillibrand, a former U.S. Congressman from our district who was the region’s first Democrat in such a position for decades, was later replaced by Rep. Scott Murphy, who won a special election in 2009 only to lose to former Army officer Chris Gibson in November. She comes up again for regular election again in 2012.

Her e-mails today included online survey questions seeking popular support, and is part of a new nationwide effort being led by Democrats to secure reform they are saying, “would require any senator who wishes to block legislation to stay on the floor and explain to the American people why they are right and the majority of senators are wrong. There must be complete transparency in our government and no more hiding behind arcane rules.”

Specifics of what is being proposed are unclear as yet.

For an online rebroadcast of Gillibrand’s appearance on The Daily Show tonight, go to http://www.thedailyshow.com/ tomorrow.
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