Under the terms of the agreement the Senate will hold votes on:
- Eliminating secret holds, including the right of senators to pass their secret holds to another anonymous senator to keep a rolling secret hold;
- Eliminating the delaying tactic of forcing the reading of an amendment that has already been submitted for 72 hours and is publicly available;
- Legislation to exempt about 1/3 of all nominations from the Senate confirmation process, reducing the number of executive nominations subject to Senate delays, which will be scheduled at a future date under the terms of an agreement reached by Sens. Mitch McConnell and Lamar Alexander, Homeland Security and Government Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman and HSGA ranking member Sen. Susan Collins, along with Sens. Reid and Chuck Schumer.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, "While we didn't get everything we wanted to, the Senate will be a significantly better place with these changes. As a result of this agreement, there should be more debate, more votes and fewer items blocked by a single senator or a small minority of senators. Make no mistake about it: this agreement is not a panacea, but it is a very significant step on the road to making the Senate function in a better, fairer way. This would not have been possible without the continued insistence on change by Senators Tom Udall, Jeff Merkley and Tom Harkin [See related article below]. Their push to establish the Jimmy Stewart-style filibuster, which would require senators to actually hold the floor if they want to block a bill, is one I hope will be accepted by the other party in the future."
- Broken Senate Rules Have Stopped Efforts To Reform Them
- The Debate Begins On Regulatory Reform & Executive Order 13563
- More Details & Budget Clues On President's SOTU Message
- Environmental Groups Reaction To President's SOTU Message