Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) laid out a series of reforms Sunday he said would diminish the partisanship that prompted him to leave the Senate.

Bayh, who announced his surprise retirement last Monday, argued that monthly luncheons with all senators, campaign finance reforms, changes to filibuster rules, and less partisanship among Americans would facilitate greater bipartisanship in the Senate.

"Challenges of historic import threaten America’s future. Action on the deficit, economy, energy, health care and much more is imperative, yet our legislative institutions fail to act," Bayh wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. "Congress must be reformed."
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Bayh laid out four ideas he said would lead to that reform.

First, he said that senators, who typically meet Tuesdays in weekly caucus luncheons, should have a monthly luncheon together to facilitate more personal and less political discussion.

Second, Bayh called for new campaign finance rules in the wake of a Supreme Court decision allowing corporations and unions to spent more in elections. He said that current legislation before Congress, as well as public matching funds for small contributions to campaigns could mean less reliance on fundraising for lawmakers.

Third, Bayh called for filibuster reform, saying current rules in effect requiring 60 votes to move on any legislation should be changed.

Filibuster rules, Bayh wrote, should require 35 participants in a filibuster to pledge to actually continually debate an issue if a filibuster were necessary, mandate that only one filibuster could be sustained per piece of legislation, and reduce the threshold for overcoming a filibuster to 55.

Fourth, Bayh called for a less ideologically polarized public that is more devoted to working to find common ground on issues.

Those changes could lead to a better Senate and Congress Bayh said, who lamented partisanship in his decision to decline reelection after having served two terms in the Senate.

The Indiana centrist vowed to fight for those reforms over the next few months until his term ends early next year.

"In my final 11 months, I will advocate for the reforms that will help Congress function as it once did, so that our generation can do what Americans have always done: convey to our children, and our children’s children, an America that is stronger, more prosperous, more decent and more just," he wrote.