Stabenow supports filibuster changes

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., addresses supporters during the Michigan Democratic election night party at the MGM Grand Detroit, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Stabenow defeated Republican challenger Pete Hoekstra.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Matt Williams, a spokesman for Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan’s junior senator, said she supports reforms generally that would make the filibuster process more transparent and accountable so that filibusters are used more sparingly and to and make it easier to accomplish Senate business.

Stabenow, 62 and just re-elected to a third six-year term, would perhaps like a return to the era of “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” style of filibustering, referring to the 1939 movie when the James Stewart character speaks for hours to the point of exhaustion to block action on an appropriations bill.

“If someone wants to force a filibuster, they actually have to stand up and talk like they used to, state their reasons and be held accountable,” her spokesman said.

And, Stabenow’s office notes, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from Nevada, has indicated he’ll pursue reforms without entirely removing the filibuster as a procedural option.