A proposed resolution advocates for overturning the 17th Amendment so Republican-controlled state legislatures could pick senators.
By John Nichols
The United States Senate is an undemocratic institution. Just do the math: Progressive California Senator Kamala Harris was elected in 2016 with 7,542,753 votes. Yet her vote on issues such as health-care reform counts for no more than that of conservative Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi, who was elected in 2014 with 121,554 votes.
This is an absurd imbalance. In fact, the only thing that would make it more absurd would be if voters were removed from the equation altogether.
Say “hello” to the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, the corporate-funded project to impose a top-down right-wing agenda on the states. ALEC is considering whether to adopt a new piece of “model legislation” that proposes to do away with an elected Senate.
The idea of reversing 104 years of representative democracy and returning to the bad old days when senators were chosen via backroom deals between wealthy campaign donors, corporate lobbyists, and crooked legislators, is not new. The John Birch Society peddled the proposal decades ago. But with the rise of the “Tea Party” movement, the notion moved into the conservative mainstream.
January 26, 2015 A key vote to advance legislation green-lighting the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline failed 53-39 in the Senate on Monday.
The vote aimed at cutting off debate on legislation to approve the controversial project fell short of 60 votes after Democrats, angry at Republicans for blocking debate on a slate of Democratic amendments last week, blocked the measure.
“Last Thursday night the majority decided that they would not allow for debate,” Democratic Sen. Ed Markey said on the floor ahead of the vote, echoing a complaint that a number of Democrats expressed on Monday after the Senate reconvened to debate the bill.
Senate Republicans have instigated a “gag-a-thon,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware said he voted against ending debate because of the “failure of the majority to follow through on the open amendment process,” taking aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.