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Filibuster and Bipartisan Legislation

In the past, the filibuster in the US Senate (that requires 60 votes to pass most legislation), may have encouraged bipartisanship, but that is no longer the case.  Accordingly, I strongly oppose the filibuster.  The filibuster is preventing much needed legislation and gives career politicians like my opponent Senator Jim Risch an excuse for not making any hard votes and for not getting anything done.

There is no filibuster in the Constitution, so the filibuster is simply a Senate rule that has outlived its usefulness.  A simple majority of the Senate is all it will take to remove the filibuster.

In the past and ongoing, both Democrat and Republican majority leaders of the Senate have prevented bipartisan bills from receiving a vote.  To encourage bipartisanship, substantive bills that have been reported out of committee that have the largest numbers of both Republican and Democratic co-sponsors should have priority on the Senate floor every week.  This means that partial control for the Senate calendar would be taken from the majority leader and given to the senators at large to vote on bipartisan bills every week. 

One good example of how obstructive and inefficient the US Senate is under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell concerned the criminal justice reform bill, The First Step Act. 

The First Step Act eventually passed the US Senate in December 2018 by an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority of 87-12, but Mitch McConnell refused for months to put the bill on the floor for a vote, apparently because of 12 senators who objected.  For months it seemed like criminal justice reform would be killed by this inaction.

After passing the Senate 87-12, the First Step Act passed the House 356-38 and eventually became law.

Twelve senators and the majority leader, should not be able to hold up or kill a bill that has such overwhelming support!

One of those 12 senators voting to oppose the First Step Act was my opponent Senator Jim Risch.

For more information, please see:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/19/criminal-justice-reform-republicans-trump-fight-1069171 

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/115-2018/s271 

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/115-2018/h448 


Travis Oler for US Senate
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