Franken: Change 60-vote rule to end Senate filibusterby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — U.S. Sen. Al Franken says he wants to change a Senate rule that requires 60 votes to end a filibuster.
Franken, a Democrat, said there have been more filibusters in Congress the past decade than in the previous three decades combined. Franken told a State Fair audience for MPR's Midday program he favors a rule that would require that only 40 Senators opposing an issue be present on the Senate floor.
Now, Franken says, all it takes is the presence of one opponent to delay.
"The other side doesn't have to do anything, all they have to do is have one person there to object when you try to call the thing up for a vote," Franken said. "So this way, 40 of them would have to stay there over the weekend and I think we'd have a lot fewer of these filibusters and cloture votes."
In 1975, then-Minnesota Sen. Walter Mondale engineered the change in Senate rules from 67 to 60 votes to end a filibuster.