Reform: Can the Senate II

Two-hundred and ninety bills passed by the House of Representatives this year, some major, some minor, have seen no action by the Senate.

According to a report by The Hill, "The list of stalled bills includes both major and minor legislation: health care reform; climate change; food safety; financial aid for the US Postal Service; a job security act for wounded veterans; a Civil War battlefield preservation act; vision care for children; the naming of a federal courthouse in Iowa after former Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa); a National Historic Park named for President Jimmy Carter; a bill to improve absentee ballot voting; a bill to improve cybersecurity; and the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act." Nor does that take into account the dozens of presidential appointees still awaiting Senate confirmation.

Government is not broken. The Democratic Party is not broken. The Senate is broken. It will stay broken as long as it misapportioned -- as long one citizen ≠ one vote, as long as .5 million people in Wyoming have the same ballot power as 37 million Californians. It will stay broken until senators are chosen by the people instead of the corporate oligarchy, until it is no longer America's most exclusive country club, until campaign finance reform levels the playing field. Fixing it won't be easy. But until it's fixed, it will be all but impossible to fix anything else.

See, also How to fix the Senate? by Mack McClarty, Norman J. Ornstein, Mark J. Penn, Warren Rudman, Sarah Binder and Forrest Maltzman, Dana Perino, and Rob Richie (The Washington Post, 2010-02-21)

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