That's President of the United States on Filibuster of the United States Senate.
"So the problem here you've got is an institution that increasingly is not adapted to the demands of a hugely competitive 21st century economy. [Good point! JF] I think the Senate in particular, the challenge that I gave to Republicans and I will continue to issue to Republicans is if you want to govern then you can't just say no. It can't just be about scoring points. There are multiple examples during the course of this year in which that's been the case.
"Look, I mentioned the filibuster record. We've had scores of pieces of legislation in which there was a filibuster, cloture had to be invoked, and then ended up passing 90 to 10, or 80 to 15. And what that indicates is a degree to which we're just trying to gum up the works instead of getting business done.
"That is an institutional problem. In the Senate, the filibuster only works if there is a genuine spirit of compromise and trying to solve problems, as opposed to just shutting the place down. If it's just shutting the place down, then it's not going to work."
At another point, addressing the Democratic senators and congratulating them on the work they had done:
"You did all this despite facing enormous procedural obstacles that are unprecedented. You may have looked at these statistics. You had to cast more votes to break filibusters last year than in the entire 1950s and '60s combined. That's 20 years of obstruction packed into just one. But you didn't let it stop you."
Good to see some direct attention to this issue from the top. Consistent with the "shame strategy" analysis put forward by the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder here.
From Barack Obama's comments this morning at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee conference in Washington. Emphasis added:
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.