More green groups join effort to change Senate rules

“Whereas Senators once resorted to filibustering only in rare and exceptional instances of intense opposition, rampant obstruction has now transformed standard operating procedure. Today, majority rule in the Senate is the exception, not the rule,” said the letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Among the group's recommendations are ending the ability to filibuster motions to proceed, requiring senators who want to block bills and nominations to take the floor and allowing 41 senators to vote to continue debate.

“Requiring those wishing to slow down or halt legislation through the Senate rules to do so publicly on the Senate floor would raise the costs of obstruction so that the filibuster is reserved for instances in which a dedicated minority is intensely opposed to legislation,” the letter said.

— This story was updated at 1:37 p.m.