Today, in his first roll call votes, U.S. Senator Angus S. King, Jr. (I-Maine) supported a filibuster rule reform package agreed to by Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The package limits filibusters on motions to bring legislation to the floor for consideration, expedites the nomination process for judgeships and executive branch candidates, and makes it easier for bills to enter conference between the House and Senate.
"The people of Maine elected me to the Senate in part to try to make it work better and I believe today's vote for balanced filibuster reform was a significant step in that direction. While I wish the final rules change package would have gone farther, the adopted compromise measure represents an encouraging turning point toward bipartisanship and real progress for the United States Senate," said Senator King.
"Although it did not contain certain provisions that I support -- for example, a requirement that those who choose to wage a filibuster will actually have to speak on the floor rather than simply call in a filibuster threat -- the amended rules will help to break through some of the legislative gridlock by limiting filibusters on attempts to bring bills to the floor, by streamlining the nomination process for lower level judgeships and presidential appointments through limitations on post cloture debate, and by clearing the path for bills to be reconciled between the House and the Senate. Additionally, the package maintains critical protections for the minority by ensuring their right to offer a reasonable number of relevant amendments.
"To me, almost as important as the rule change itself was the way we got here -- through Senators of both parties listening to each other and negotiating in good faith. Nobody won here today except for the American people, who expect us to continue working together in the same way we did for this historic moment.
"I recognize that neither side got everything they wanted, but with the progress of today, I am hopeful that the U.S. Senate can begin to again solve the major problems facing our nation. I look forward to engaging my colleagues in that important work."