Newly elected US Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-NM, this week signed on as a co-sponsor to a resolution sponsored by US Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM to reform Senate rules, including the filibuster.---

SFR's cover story this week explains Udall's effort to reform the Senate rules. Central to that effort is a push to establish a "talking filibuster," which essentially requires senators to come down to the Senate floor and actually talk rather than simply threaten to filibuster a bill or nomination.

While Senate Democrats contend that Republicans have overused the filibuster, thereby impeding the Senate's ability to accomplish things in a timely manner, some Republicans claim it's merely a response to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.'s tendency to block GOP amendments. Click here to read more.

Heinrich's press office released the following statement:

"The abuse of the filibuster over the last decade has prevented vital legislation like the DREAM Act and the American Jobs Act from even being considered on the Senate floor. This fair and simple proposal clears a path to debate and requires senators who wish to filibuster to actually speak on the floor. I am proud to join Senator Udall in helping to alleviate dysfunction and increase accountability in the Senate, and look forward to really making a difference in the lives of the people of New Mexico.

"The purpose of the filibuster is to protect the rights of the minority.  It should never not be used in the cavalier manner we have seen all too frequently in recent years, and it should never be anonymous.  If you are going to filibuster, you should hold the floor and explain your obstructionism to the American people."