With so many proposals for reform floating around, here is a Washington Post essay with a good list from two former senate majority leaders, Tom Daschle (D) and Trent Lott (R):
1) "Congress should return to a five-day workweek and commit to regular order.”
2) " Joint caucuses should be scheduled at least once a month. The primary focus could be an off-the-record discussion of pending issues with an expectation that members would agree to move at least one matter of legislation for which common agreement could be found at each meeting."
3) "end the Senate practice of “holds.” Members of both parties have abused this practice, which is now tantamount to a veto. Unanimity on a nominee or procedural motion is too high a bar in a democratic legislative process. It invites far too much delay and dysfunction."
4) "Initiate weekly meetings at the White House and quarterly weekend meetings at Camp David. Regular engagement between the president and leaders of Congress is necessary."
At CivilPolitics.org, one of the principles we emphasize is the importance of strengthening relationships and restoring the cross-partisan friendships that used to be so much more common. Three of the four proposals from these former senate leaders aim for exactly that goal. None of these reforms would give either party an advantage, especially if a resolution was passed to adopt them in 2015, when control of the senate is fully up for grabs. Both sides would win in that they would make the Senate work better. They would make the Senate a body more worthy of respect, rather than the object of contempt that recent polls show Congress has become.