Democrats Want to Reform Filibuster Rules in the Senate

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), a leading advocate of filibuster reform, told MSNBC's Up w/ Chris Hayes that "if President Obama wants to get anything done in his second term, Democrats must reform filibuster rules."

Merkley claims, "in the last four years, Republicans have used the filibuster to prevent landmark pieces of legislation–such as the DREAM Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act and additional measures to stimulate the economy–from even reaching the floor for debate, let alone a vote."

“Mitch McConnell has orchestrated a strategy of killing bills in the middle of the night,” he said. Adding, "the abuse of the filibuster had warped the Senate, making it a far less productive place than it has been for most of its history."

Merkley things changes to the rules of the Senate are needed to allow bills to reach the floor for debate before being filibustered. “We no longer have the culture, the social contract that, if you’re going to object to a simple majority, you’re going to come to the floor and you’re going to make your views known to your colleagues and the United States,” the Democratic senator said. “All we’re saying here is that, if you don’t have the courage of your convictions to come and debate the issue [...] then we should get on with a simple majority vote,” he added.