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Congressional Reform Concepts: Senate Operations and Procedures

Congressional Reform Concepts
For Consideration By
A Joint Committee on the Congress of Tomorrow

The following recommendations are the result of conversations that have taken place among several groups and are intended to serve as a framework for short-term and long-term change.

Such a framework would be best achieved through the creation of a bipartisan, bicameral Joint Committee on a Modern Congress, patterned after those created during the last Century for a similar purpose.

SENATE OPERATIONS AND PROCEDURES

  • Changes in Senate rules should be restricted to the opening of each Congress and require two-thirds vote of the Senate to agree (BPC proposal);
  • Require the publication of “holds” on nominations 24 hours after the old has been declared (BPC proposal)
  • Adopt Senate rules that would restrict the power of the Majority Leader to “fill the amendment tree” effectively prohibiting other members of the body from offering amendments.
  • Adopt a Senate rule prohibiting the filing of cloture on the same day a bill is brought to the floor.
  • Adopt a Senate rule eliminating the authority of the body to filibuster the motion to proceed.

For a complete list of reform concepts, click here.

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