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Begich Votes to Change Senate Rules, Make Legislative Process More Efficient

Disappointed Measures Didn’t Go Further to Stop Secret Holds and Endless Filibusters

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich released the following statement after voting tonight to pass two resolutions to make Senate business move at a quicker, more productive pace:

“I supported these resolutions because the process here is broken and I believe this is a step in the right direction.  It was my hope that the Senate would pass stronger reforms tonight to prevent Senators from blocking entire pieces of legislation with secret holds.  The American people expect us to get things done, not drag our feet through a swamp of technicalities.”

“I am disappointed that we did not use this moment to eliminate secret holds and address the abuse of the filibuster, which allows Senators to threaten important legislation without having to explain themselves – Alaskans and the rest of the country deserve better. It’s high time we get back to common sense governing and ditch this political maneuvering.”

Begich was a cosponsor of two pieces of legislation that would have eliminated the possibility of one Senator holding up legislation in secret by requiring Senators who strongly object to a bill to physically be on the Senate floor during their filibuster. Over the past 5 years the Senate has dealt with almost 400 filibusters, which have significantly delayed the productivity of Congress and abused the spirit of the constitutional right of the minority to object and debate any issue. 

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