Opinion | We need more than ending the filibuster to stop the spread of guns

In his Feb. 20 op-ed, “Our system doesn’t act even when we agree,” E.J. Dionne Jr. offered familiar reasons the Senate filibuster stymies (usually progressive) action; however, he and other opinion writers rarely offer solutions beyond the impossible (do away with the filibuster).

I’m not a parliamentarian, and a review of the “filibuster” and “cloture” entries in Wikipedia will make your head hurt. It’s generally known that the filibuster is a Senate rule and not part of the Constitution, and perhaps that makes it slightly easier to modify. Herewith, my suggestion for a modification that might have a modest chance to pass:

Appointments to the Supreme Court and funding bills fall outside the three-fifths cloture limit on debate. Maybe it would be possible to change the cloture rule ever so slightly on other matters: Allow either party a single vote during a single session of Congress that is a majority vote. This would force a choice on the advocates’ single most important issue. Choose carefully (only one bite at the apple), be “whip smart” when counting votes and limit the bill’s scope to gain a certain outcome that nonetheless represents progress (though it need not be “progressive”). The choice of issue is wide open. As a Democrat, I would select voting rights, as that speaks directly to our collective notion of a democracy, or campaign reform or immigration reform. Whatever the issue, choose wisely.

Robert Stovall, Brookeville

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