Alexander: We Want the “Voices of the People We Represent” Heard in Senate

In floor speech, supports agreement to “help the Senate operate in a fairer and more efficient way”

Posted on January 24, 2013

“Tocqueville … saw in a great, big, complex country the danger of the tyranny of the majority. And this institution, the U.S. Senate, has from the beginning of the country protected the minority and protected the unpopular view.”– Lamar Alexander

 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 – In a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday evening, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) urged the approval of an agreement that would prevent the Senate majority from changing the rules to restrict the filibuster, a maneuver Alexander says allows the Senate to function as it should – as an institution that “has from the beginning of the country protected the minority.” He said the agreement would allow for “the voices of the people whom we represent” to be heard while making the Senate function more efficiently.

 

Alexander said an agreement between Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell should ensure that bills reach the floor for full and fair debate. Republicans would be able to offer amendments, and still retain the right to filibuster when they feel the Senate majority is not allowing adequate time for a debate on the proposal.

 

“We are hopeful the leaders will be able to recommend to us a set of changes in our rules and procedures and practices that will help the Senate operate in a fairer and more efficient way,” Alexander said. “That is what all of us want.”

 

Invoking Alexis de Tocqueville, the historian and political philosopher who praised the United States of America for its checks and balances in government, Alexander urged the Senate to uphold its history of making reasoned decisions that represent a real consensus in the country.

 

Alexander said, “This is a democracy. This is a majority rules country. But (Tocqueville) saw in our great, big, complex country the danger of the tyranny of the majority. And this institution, the U.S. Senate, has from the beginning of the country protected the minority and protected the unpopular view.”

 

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