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Walter Mondale on Fixing Senate Rules

May 19, 2010
  • In the history of the U.S. Senate, there is a long line of senators who have endeavored to reform the institution at times when its rules are abused. My predecessor, New Mexico's Clinton Anderson, was one of those people. Another is former Vice President Walter Mondale, who testified before the Senate Rules Committee today.

    Vice President Mondale was serving as senator from Minnesota when he helped lead the charge for rules reform in 1975 - which was the last time the Senate revised Rule XXII, known as the filibuster rule. He believes, as I do, that each Senate has the constitutional right to change its rules by a majority vote.

    The Senate of 1975 thought that the filibuster was being abused. But more recent Senates have demonstrated a whole new level of obstruction, with senators from both sides of the aisle increasingly using it as a weapon of partisan warfare.

    It was enlightening to hear Vice President Mondale's experiences with reforming the Senate. You can watch his full testimony below:

    Video requires Flash Player

    I also talked to Ezra Klein from the Washington Post after the hearing. You can read his blog here.

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