Letter to Senate Rules supporting Sens Continuity Resolution. Portman and Durbin

June 14, 2021

Dear President Klobuchar and Blunt Ranking Member:

The undersigned organizations, from across the political spectrum and focusing on a wide range of issues, write to commend the bipartisan effort led by your colleagues, Senator Rob Portman and Senator Richard Durbin, on changing the procedures to allow senators to vote outside the Senate Chamber under limited circumstances.

Introduced on April 29, 2021, S.Res.201 amends the Rules of the Senate to allow the participation of senators absent during a national crisis. The measure allows members of the Senate to use technology certified by Senate officials to vote from outside the Senate chamber in circumstances where majority and minority leaders in the Senate jointly determine that there is a “extraordinary crisis of national scope”.

Several recent events have compromised the ability of the Senate to meet and conduct business during critical times. These events underscore the potential vulnerability of our political system to unforeseen circumstances and the importance of ensuring that our democratic processes remain intact, regardless of national emergencies. It is undeniable that new threats and unforeseen circumstances will arise in the future; this resolution allows the Senate to mitigate potential impacts on America’s ability to continue to govern at full capacity.

We urge you to support this bill and thank you for your attention. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this further. Please contact Kristie De Pena, Vice President of the Niskanen Center at [email protected], or Daniel Schuman, Policy Director of Demand Progress at [email protected]


Campaign for accountability

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Consumer action

Courage california

Demand progress

The voice of the Democracy Fund

Free government information (FGI)

Government Accountability Project

Government information watch

Number one

Media alliance

NALEO Educational Fund

Niskanen Center

Government Oversight Project

Protect democracy

Advice Rachel Carson

Association of Senior Executives

Social security work

Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research *

Lorelei Kelly, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University *

Robert Cook-Deegan, Consortium for Science, Policy and Results *

Brian Baird, Congressman (retired) *

Tyler Fisher, Unite America *

Kevin Esterling, University of California, Riverside *

* Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.

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