Interesting Response From Senator Jon Tester…

Dear L. J.,

Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts about the use of the filibuster and secret holds in the U.S. Senate.  It’s good to hear from you.

As you know, the filibuster and secret holds are procedures that can allow one senator to prevent the Senate from considering a bill, nomination, or other legislative matter.  Secret holds allow one senator to block legislation anonymously and without any explanation to the American people.

The use of these tactics has increased dramatically in recent years, sparking the current debate on rules reform.  While I believe the filibuster remains an important tool to protect the minority party, at the same time I believe the Senate should be a place of meaningful debate, not endless delay. Furthermore, I believe no Senator should be able to block legislation anonymously and without explanation.  Now more than ever, it’s critical that all members of the U.S. Senate are held accountable and work together to debate the issues facing our country.  I came to the United States Senate to tackle these problems, not to sit on my hands.

Recently, the Senate voted to leave the filibuster rules intact while ending the practice of secret holds.  Banning secret holds is a win for both transparency and accountability. If lawmakers disagree with each other they ought to face the music, not hide in secrecy.  When we have disagreements in Montana, we look each other square in the eye and tell each other why. The U.S. Senate should be no different.

As always, I appreciate your perspective.  Your input is a critical part of making sure my work in the Senate reflects Montana priorities.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me again if I can be of further assistance.


Jon Tester

United States Senator

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