Trent Lott and Tom Daschle at The Hill:

First, the Senate should return to old norms for considering legislation. Filibusters, which date back to America’s earliest days, grew more common in the 19th and 20th centuries, prompting the Senate to adopt rules to end debate by “invoking cloture,” which now requires 60 votes. While cloture votes were rare for most of our history, the assumption in the Senate now is that virtually all legislation will require a cloture vote, giving Senate minorities enormous power to block action.


Second, the Senate and House should restore “regular order” for developing legislation. We would welcome reinvigorating the process of developing legislation through subcommittee and committee hearings and “markup” (drafting) sessions, followed by floor debates. It is historically how bipartisan legislation has successfully been created.


Third, we need to recreate more venues for constructive communication between parties. Joint caucus meetings, bipartisan discussions with congressional leadership in the White House, and more social events involving senators, House members and their spouses have all been shown to be catalytic to better relations. How nice it would be to see more of them now.