Press Release

January 24, 2013
Cardin Backs Sensible Rules Changes That Should Expedite The Work Of The U.S. Senate

“Gridlock does not create jobs, it does not improve our schools and it does not clean the air we breathe or the water we drink. We are public servants and we were sent here to do a job, and I am committed to getting the work of the American people done.”

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) voted to support a reasonable package of changes to the Senate rules designed to improve the efficiency of the Senate and minimize the ability of any one senator to block consideration of legislation or certain nominations. Senator Cardin has worked for months with a bipartisan group, including Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), John McCain (R-AZ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mark Pryor (D-AR), John Barrasso (R-WY), and former Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) to develop recommendations on rules changes.  The Senate approved two resolutions tonight by votes of 78-16 and 86-9 that contain nearly all of the bipartisan group’s recommendations.

“The U.S. Senate has too frequently been paralyzed and blocked from carrying out the business of the American people. The reasonable rules changes enacted for the 113th Congress were negotiated based on the frustrations of Senators from both the majority and minority parties. It became apparent to all of us that individual senators were abusing the system and blocking consideration of amendments and bills indefinitely. That’s not how the Senate should operate. The rules changes agreed to should allow the Senate to carry out its responsibilities in a more effective way.

“I strongly supported this bipartisan effort to change the rules of the Senate, but I do believe in majority rule. I think rules changes should be done in a bipartisan manner but after a full debate that decisions should be made by a majority of the Senators elected to the Senate.

“Let’s hope that the cooperation that grew out of developing rules changes will carry through to other work, allowing us to tackle the hard problems facing our nation in a more collegial way, recognizing that compromise is how this country was formed.”