Mark Udall's Plan to Keep Congress From Stalling

September 30 2010, 12:30 PM

Citing gridlock and a lack of cooperation between parties on the Hill, U.S. Senator Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, wants to change the rules governing filibusters. Under the current system, if 41 senators join forces, they can prevent a vote on any item. Udall would like to require an affirmative vote by three-fifths of senators who are actually present in the Senate chamber to break a filibuster, rather than the current three-fifths of all elected senators, according to KUNC radio

Udall doesn't have a Republican co-sponsor for his proposed legislation to change the rules, but he says he's hopeful he'll find one after the mid-term elections in November. He would also like to limit minority parties to just one filibuster per bill, as well as restrain the ability of the majority party to block amendments to bills.

"I came to the Senate believing it was the most deliberative body in the world," he tells the Grand Junction Sentinel. "If we don't deliberate, what does that make us?"