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Business Leaders Urge Filibuster Reform to Enable Better Consideration of Policies for Small Business and New Economy

Submitted by: American Sustainable Business Council

Categories: Activism, Community Development

Posted: Jan 18, 2013 – 12:51 PM EST


WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 /CSRwire/ - The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), a national coalition of business organizations that together represent over 150,000 small and medium businesses, today released the following statement from David Levine, CEO and Co-founder, supporting reform of filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate:

The American Sustainable Business Council strongly urges the Senate to reform its filibuster rules by passing the Udall-Merkley-Harkin Resolution #4 using the Constitutional option of 51 votes when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote next week. Current rules allow individual Senators to hold up Senate proceedings by merely indicating an intention to filibuster. As business leaders, we are concerned that many urgent policy issues that directly affect small businesses and job creation – such as investment in infrastructure, education, capital access and clean energy – will continue to be too easily held in gridlock due to today’s filibuster rules. Requiring a “talking filibuster” will advance public debate about these issues and encourage bi-partisan compromise leading to enactment of needed legislation to address the nation’s economic problems.

At the beginning of each term, the Senate has a one-time opportunity to establish its own rules by majority vote. Senators Tom Harkin, Jeff Merkley and Tom Udall have proposed a filibuster reform package, SR 4, which would require “talking filibusters,” making it more difficult for individual Senators to block debate.

Earlier this month, ASBC sent all Senators a letter, which said in part:

At a minimum, the Senate should require a “talking filibuster” that does not end filibusters but makes them as intended—a continuous holding of the floor by the minority speaking on the bill until cloture is invoked. The current rule that allows a Senator to express their objection by phone rather than be on the floor debating is not constructive.

The American Sustainable Business Council and its member organizations represent more than 150,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 300,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and investors. The non-partisan council includes chambers of commerce, trade associations, and groups representing small business, investors, microenterprise, social enterprise, green and sustainable business, local living economy, and women and minority business leaders. ASBC informs and engages policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy.

For more information, please contact:

Bob Keener Media Relations
Phone: 617-610-6766

For more from this organization:

American Sustainable Business Council


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