An idea for filibuster reform


Published Dec 4, 2012 at 04:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

A modest, market-based proposal for reform of a badly broken Senate procedural device — the filibuster:

At the beginning of each session of Congress, the Senate would issue a limited number (say, 20) of “filibuster tokens.” Both parties can bid on these tokens, with the minority party most likely to bid generously in order to secure ammunition for the fights ahead. Funds collected from the bidding would be used for some worthy, nonpartisan cause (such as support for wounded war veterans, for example). With a limited number of tokens available, the parties would be more judicious in their use (and abuse) of this privilege. Money talks. Problem solved, and the Senate could — finally — get on with doing the business of the people.

William L. Valenti

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