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Statement from Congressional Institute President Mark Strand on the Threat of the Nuclear Option Against Filibuster of Supreme Court Nominations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 21, 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica R. Towhey | 202-294-0494 | Jessica@2ecommunications.com

“We Cannot Blow Up the Fundamental Components of Our Institutions and Expect Them To Work”

Congressional Institute President Mark Strand issued the following statement regarding threats to use the nuclear option against Supreme Court nominations:

“The United States Senate was created to be a deliberative body, and nothing is more emblematic of this feature than the filibuster. Regardless of the headaches a filibuster can create, the misguided decision in 2013 to use the nuclear option against the filibuster of lower court judges should not be repeated for the filibuster of Supreme Court nominations. Our politics have become increasingly polarized, but the solution is not to blow up the fundamental components of our institutions; instead, we should look at reforms that can be easily implemented to keep thing on track.
 
“Too often, the threat of a filibuster causes the Senate to shift focus away from contested legislation. Instead of letting these ‘silent filibusters’ disrupt important work, the Senate should force them into the open by remaining on the bill, making Senators take the floor in an actual filibuster. Either the filibuster works and the legislation is stopped, or the silent minority fails and important bills can move ahead.
 
“For the first time in our history, a majority of Americans do not approve of their own Members of Congress. Dysfunction and gridlock have ground important legislative work to a halt. To restore the integrity of our institutions and the trust of the American people, Congress should enact significant reforms and get back to work.”

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Founded in 1987, the Congressional Institute is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to helping Members of Congress better serve their constituents and helping their constituents better understand the operations of the national legislature. The Institute sponsors major conferences for the benefit of Members of the U.S. Congress as well as a number of smaller gatherings, all devoted to an examination of important policy issues and strategic planning.

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