# End the filibuster?

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
In other news, Texas legislators fled the state in order to prevent there from being a quorum necessary to conduct business.

#### Elixir

##### Made in America
I think this is purely academic because the dems don't have the votes to end the filibuster anyway. But when the pendulum swings back, the republicans might be able to do it.

It's no longer a pendulum if Republicans get their way. They will gerrymander the States, the State legislatures will legalize their overthrow of electoral results (already done and approved by the corrupt SCOTUS), and voilá - we have one party rule.
Even an unimaginably massive turnout in 2022 isn't going to help, if enough States go along with trumputinism.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Biden gives strongest signal he’s ready to move to end Senate filibuster | Joe Biden | The Guardian
Speaking in Baltimore a day after Senate Republicans yet again blocked major legislation designed to secure access to the ballot box for all Americans, Biden expressed mounting frustration at the filibuster which effectively gives the conservative minority a stranglehold over large swathes of policy.

“We’re going to have to move to the point where we fundamentally alter the filibuster,” the president said.

At a CNN town hall in Baltimore on Thursday night, Biden hedged on how far any reform would go. “That remains to be seen,” he said, “in terms of fundamentally altering it or whether or not we just end the filibuster straight up.”

Asked by the moderator Anderson Cooper whether he would consider ending the filibuster on the issue of voting rights alone, Biden replied: “And maybe more.”
He's the President and not a Senator, even though he was a Senator for a long time.

#### ZiprHead

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
He's the President and not a Senator, even though he was a Senator for a long time.

370 years, as a matter of fact.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Schumer announces Senate vote on filibuster change | PBS NewsHour
U.S. Senate's Schumer eyes change to filibuster to advance voting rights bill | Reuters
Schumer: Senate to vote on filibuster change on voting bill | AP News

Noting
Dear Colleague 1.3.22.pdf by Sen. Maj. Ldr. Chuck Schumer
Let me be clear: January 6th was a symptom of a broader illness - an effort to delegitimize our election process, and the Senate must advance systemic democracy reforms to repair our republic or else the events of that day will not be an aberration – they will be the new norm. Given the urgency of the situation and imminence of the votes, we as Senate Democrats must urge the public in a variety of different ways to impress upon their Senators the importance of acting and reforming the Senate rules, if that becomes a perquisite for action to save our democracy.

Our Caucus has fought back against these assaults, uniting behind comprehensive legislation that would address these threats to our democracy. Sadly, these common-sense solutions to defend our democracy have been repeatedly blocked by our Republican colleagues, who seem wholly uninterested in taking any meaningful steps to stem the rising tide of antidemocratic sentiment still being stoked by the former president today. In June, August, October, and once more in November, Republicans weaponized arcane Senate rules to prevent even a simple debate on how to protect our democracy.

,,,
We must ask ourselves: if the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, then how can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same?
Then proposing to consider changes to the filibuster by Jan 17 or earlier. I couldn't find any further details.

Why to do it?
Pramila Jayapal on Twitter: "It’s the filibuster or:
Climate action
Reproductive rights
🗳 Voting rights
Police reform
$15 minimum wage The PRO Act Equality Act And so much more. This shouldn’t be a tough choice. Abolish the filibuster." / Twitter #### Elixir ##### Made in America Proposing to consider stuff is what Democrats are good at. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor Schumer announces Senate vote on filibuster change | PBS NewsHour U.S. Senate's Schumer eyes change to filibuster to advance voting rights bill | Reuters Schumer: Senate to vote on filibuster change on voting bill | AP News Noting Dear Colleague 1.3.22.pdf by Sen. Maj. Ldr. Chuck Schumer Let me be clear: January 6th was a symptom of a broader illness - an effort to delegitimize our election process, and the Senate must advance systemic democracy reforms to repair our republic or else the events of that day will not be an aberration – they will be the new norm. Given the urgency of the situation and imminence of the votes, we as Senate Democrats must urge the public in a variety of different ways to impress upon their Senators the importance of acting and reforming the Senate rules, if that becomes a perquisite for action to save our democracy. Our Caucus has fought back against these assaults, uniting behind comprehensive legislation that would address these threats to our democracy. Sadly, these common-sense solutions to defend our democracy have been repeatedly blocked by our Republican colleagues, who seem wholly uninterested in taking any meaningful steps to stem the rising tide of antidemocratic sentiment still being stoked by the former president today. In June, August, October, and once more in November, Republicans weaponized arcane Senate rules to prevent even a simple debate on how to protect our democracy. ,,, We must ask ourselves: if the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, then how can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same? Then proposing to consider changes to the filibuster by Jan 17 or earlier. I couldn't find any further details. Why to do it? Pramila Jayapal on Twitter: "It’s the filibuster or: Climate action Reproductive rights 🗳 Voting rights Police reform$15 minimum wage
The PRO Act
Equality Act
And so much more.
This shouldn’t be a tough choice. Abolish the filibuster." / Twitter
I'm uncertain why it is so unclear that without the filibuster, all of those bills can be unpassed when the GOP gets the power back.

#### laughing dog

##### Contributor
Schumer announces Senate vote on filibuster change | PBS NewsHour
U.S. Senate's Schumer eyes change to filibuster to advance voting rights bill | Reuters
Schumer: Senate to vote on filibuster change on voting bill | AP News

Noting
Dear Colleague 1.3.22.pdf by Sen. Maj. Ldr. Chuck Schumer
Let me be clear: January 6th was a symptom of a broader illness - an effort to delegitimize our election process, and the Senate must advance systemic democracy reforms to repair our republic or else the events of that day will not be an aberration – they will be the new norm. Given the urgency of the situation and imminence of the votes, we as Senate Democrats must urge the public in a variety of different ways to impress upon their Senators the importance of acting and reforming the Senate rules, if that becomes a perquisite for action to save our democracy.

Our Caucus has fought back against these assaults, uniting behind comprehensive legislation that would address these threats to our democracy. Sadly, these common-sense solutions to defend our democracy have been repeatedly blocked by our Republican colleagues, who seem wholly uninterested in taking any meaningful steps to stem the rising tide of antidemocratic sentiment still being stoked by the former president today. In June, August, October, and once more in November, Republicans weaponized arcane Senate rules to prevent even a simple debate on how to protect our democracy.

,,,
We must ask ourselves: if the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, then how can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same?
Then proposing to consider changes to the filibuster by Jan 17 or earlier. I couldn't find any further details.

Why to do it?
Pramila Jayapal on Twitter: "It’s the filibuster or:
Climate action
Reproductive rights
🗳 Voting rights
Police reform
$15 minimum wage The PRO Act Equality Act And so much more. This shouldn’t be a tough choice. Abolish the filibuster." / Twitter I'm uncertain why it is so unclear that without the filibuster, all of those bills can be unpassed when the GOP gets the power back. Regardless of the filibuster's availability, recent history has shown that nothing will stop the GOP from undoing any work if they get full power (including the POTUS). I think eliminating the procedural filibuster (i.e. the threat of the filibuster) is sufficient. If done, a filibuster requires someone to actually work to stall the Senate which means they cannot go out and fund raise. #### Bronzeage ##### Super Moderator Staff member The filibuster died when McConnell decided to appoint Supreme Court Justices with 51 votes. This is just the wake. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor The filibuster died when McConnell decided to appoint Supreme Court Justices with 51 votes. This is just the wake. No, that was when Democracy died. We are still trying to pointlessly save the filibuster, to hold off the floodwaters of alt-right authoritarianism for a couple more years. #### ZiprHead ##### Loony Running The Asylum Staff member Schumer announces Senate vote on filibuster change | PBS NewsHour U.S. Senate's Schumer eyes change to filibuster to advance voting rights bill | Reuters Schumer: Senate to vote on filibuster change on voting bill | AP News Noting Dear Colleague 1.3.22.pdf by Sen. Maj. Ldr. Chuck Schumer Let me be clear: January 6th was a symptom of a broader illness - an effort to delegitimize our election process, and the Senate must advance systemic democracy reforms to repair our republic or else the events of that day will not be an aberration – they will be the new norm. Given the urgency of the situation and imminence of the votes, we as Senate Democrats must urge the public in a variety of different ways to impress upon their Senators the importance of acting and reforming the Senate rules, if that becomes a perquisite for action to save our democracy. Our Caucus has fought back against these assaults, uniting behind comprehensive legislation that would address these threats to our democracy. Sadly, these common-sense solutions to defend our democracy have been repeatedly blocked by our Republican colleagues, who seem wholly uninterested in taking any meaningful steps to stem the rising tide of antidemocratic sentiment still being stoked by the former president today. In June, August, October, and once more in November, Republicans weaponized arcane Senate rules to prevent even a simple debate on how to protect our democracy. ,,, We must ask ourselves: if the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, then how can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same? Then proposing to consider changes to the filibuster by Jan 17 or earlier. I couldn't find any further details. Why to do it? Pramila Jayapal on Twitter: "It’s the filibuster or: Climate action Reproductive rights 🗳 Voting rights Police reform$15 minimum wage
The PRO Act
Equality Act
And so much more.
This shouldn’t be a tough choice. Abolish the filibuster." / Twitter
I'm uncertain why it is so unclear that without the filibuster, all of those bills can be unpassed when the GOP gets the power back.
Yeah, so let them. Let the people who mostly don't pay attention actually see AND FEEL the GQP's agenda. Let them repeal the ACA and millions of people lose their healthcare. Let them screw the elderly by screwing with social security and medicare. The people that don't pay attention will surely start doing so when it hits them personally.

The Dems have been protecting the people from the Republican agenda and get bitten in the ass for doing so. They're called "ineffective" and "weak". Remove the filibuster. Pass the legislation that is popular with the people. If the Reps reverse the legislation the people will see it and feel it. Let them see it and feel it. The reps will either have to revise their agenda or die protecting it.

Meh.

#### ZiprHead

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
Yeah, yeah. Everyone wants to keep it when it's to their advantage. When It wasn't working for McConnell he had no issue dropping it so you can drop the hypocrisy angle, Trausti. He's just as much a hypocrite as anyone on this matter.

The bottom line is it's a rule that was made by mistake, fifty years after the creation of the senate. This is not the way it was intended.

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
Hm, this coming November doesn't look good for Democrats. Are those arguing in favor of ending the filibuster sure that is what they want?

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Hm, this coming November doesn't look good for Democrats. Are those arguing in favor of ending the filibuster sure that is what they want?
That presumes that the Republicans will let themselves be obstructed by the Democrats. Does anyone seriously believe that?

After Mitch McConnell's two-faced performance on appointing Supreme Court Justices in Presidential election years, I'm sure that they will revoke the filibuster if they find it expedient to do so.

When the Democrats filibustered the appointment of some of George Bush II's judges back in 2005 or thereabouts, the Republicans threatened the "Nuclear Option" and the Democrats backed down.

I also note that the Republicans did not succeed in repealing Obamacare when they had a trifecta in the first two years of Trump's Presidency.

So if the Democrats pass a lot of very popular legislation, the Republicans will be reluctant to repeal it. Even if they get the House and the Senate this year, they will not be likely to have enough votes to override President Biden's veto.

#### Jayjay

##### Contributor
I'm uncertain why it is so unclear that without the filibuster, all of those bills can be unpassed when the GOP gets the power back.
So the worst case scenario is returning to the current status quo? Sounds like a risk worth taking.

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
Hm, this coming November doesn't look good for Democrats. Are those arguing in favor of ending the filibuster sure that is what they want?
That presumes that the Republicans will let themselves be obstructed by the Democrats. Does anyone seriously believe that?

After Mitch McConnell's two-faced performance on appointing Supreme Court Justices in Presidential election years, I'm sure that they will revoke the filibuster if they find it expedient to do so.

When the Democrats filibustered the appointment of some of George Bush II's judges back in 2005 or thereabouts, the Republicans threatened the "Nuclear Option" and the Democrats backed down.

I also note that the Republicans did not succeed in repealing Obamacare when they had a trifecta in the first two years of Trump's Presidency.

So if the Democrats pass a lot of very popular legislation, the Republicans will be reluctant to repeal it. Even if they get the House and the Senate this year, they will not be likely to have enough votes to override President Biden's veto.

I'm not asking about their opinion, I'm asking about resident opinion.

#### ZiprHead

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
I've given mine if that helps.

What's your opinion on the filibuster, Jason?

#### ZiprHead

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member

A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll found eight in 10 Republicans, Democrats and independents are worried about the future of American democracy. But they disagree over the causes – and who’s to blame: 85% of Democrats call the Capitol Hill rioters “criminals”; two-thirds of Republicans believe “they went too far but had a point”.

“Only free and fair elections in which the loser abides by the result stand between each of us and life at the mercy of a despotic regime,” warns Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe. But increasingly, for today’s politicians, honourable defeat is a wholly foreign concept.

This chronic loss of institutional trust and credibility, also tainting a politicised, conservative-dominated supreme court, reflects a society more openly riven by longstanding cultural, racial and religious animosities – and one in which income, wealth and health inequalities are growing. These divisions are in turn wilfully exacerbated by rightwing broadcast and online media, bloggers and internet trolls.
Columbia’s Britton-Purdy says America’s democracy is failing because it is not democratic enough. Old saws about the “tyranny of the majority”, propagated by founding father James Madison, among others, are redundant. The electoral college, which can override the popular vote, should be abolished, the franchise widened, and constitutional amendments curbing money in politics, banning gerrymandering and enshrining abortion rights should be voted on by all, he argued.
I would definitely add the filibuster to that list.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Clyburn knocks Manchin for arguing voting rights vote must be bipartisan | TheHill
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) lambasted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Sunday for saying a vote on changing voting rights laws must be bipartisan.
Noting
Manchin delivers blow to Democrats as he signals opposition to changing Senate rules to advance voting bill - CNNPolitics
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the pivotal Senate swing vote, made clear on Tuesday that he remains deeply skeptical of overhauling the chamber's rules on a simple majority basis to advance voting legislation, a clear sign that a frantic push by Democrats to win his support to change the filibuster and pass one of the party's core priorities is likely doomed.

The comments from Manchin come as his party is launching a full-court press to pressure him and fellow moderate Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, to back changes to the filibuster that would allow Democrats to pass voting legislation.
What Republicans does he think will vote for it? If the Republican Party refuses to support it, then we must leave the Republican Party behind.

Back to TheHill:
Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Clyburn told Fox News anchor Bret Baier that's Manchin's suggestion of requiring bipartisan support for voting tights caused him "pain."

“I am, as you know, a Black person, descended of people who were given the vote by the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 15th Amendment was not a bipartisan vote. It was a single-party vote that gave Black people the right to vote," Clyburn told Baier.

"Manchin and others need to stop saying that because that gives me great pain for somebody to imply that the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution is not legitimate because it did not have bipartisan buy-in," he added.

#### Jayjay

##### Contributor
How would the filibuster be eliminated in practice? My understanding is that in previous cases, the senate rules themselves were not changed, just their interpretation: someone calls for a vote for e.g. "the cloture doesn't apply to judicial nominations" and then the senate votes for that motion which can pass with a simple majority.

But to eliminate the cloture entirely seems like something that would require an actual rule change... what is the point of having rules if you can just overrule them at any time completely anyway? How can you have a rule that applies to nothing?

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
We are already practicing a two-level filibuster system. I argue that retaining two parties in a nation of about 330 million already forces many views into each party. Doing so leads to much shower change in the law. That pressure to achieve a compromise slows reaching a change point. The process is sufficient to exceed our natural tendencies to restrain social inertia, sustain the status quo.

I suggest we argue the issue on all its merits, not just genuflecting to tradition on a single cause.

#### ZiprHead

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
How would the filibuster be eliminated in practice? My understanding is that in previous cases, the senate rules themselves were not changed, just their interpretation: someone calls for a vote for e.g. "the cloture doesn't apply to judicial nominations" and then the senate votes for that motion which can pass with a simple majority.

But to eliminate the cloture entirely seems like something that would require an actual rule change... what is the point of having rules if you can just overrule them at any time completely anyway? How can you have a rule that applies to nothing?
Yes, it would be a rule change. It can be implemented by the party in charge with a simple majority vote. In fact, the filibuster rule has been changed 161 times since its inception.

#### Jayjay

##### Contributor
How would the filibuster be eliminated in practice? My understanding is that in previous cases, the senate rules themselves were not changed, just their interpretation: someone calls for a vote for e.g. "the cloture doesn't apply to judicial nominations" and then the senate votes for that motion which can pass with a simple majority.

But to eliminate the cloture entirely seems like something that would require an actual rule change... what is the point of having rules if you can just overrule them at any time completely anyway? How can you have a rule that applies to nothing?
Yes, it would be a rule change. It can be implemented by the party in charge with a simple majority vote. In fact, the filibuster rule has been changed 161 times since its inception.
Then how do you explain that the republicans removed filibuster for supreme court nominations in 2017, but the latest senate rules seem to be from 2014?

#### Toni

##### Contributor
How would the filibuster be eliminated in practice? My understanding is that in previous cases, the senate rules themselves were not changed, just their interpretation: someone calls for a vote for e.g. "the cloture doesn't apply to judicial nominations" and then the senate votes for that motion which can pass with a simple majority.

But to eliminate the cloture entirely seems like something that would require an actual rule change... what is the point of having rules if you can just overrule them at any time completely anyway? How can you have a rule that applies to nothing?
Yes, it would be a rule change. It can be implemented by the party in charge with a simple majority vote. In fact, the filibuster rule has been changed 161 times since its inception.
Then how do you explain that the republicans removed filibuster for supreme court nominations in 2017, but the latest senate rules seem to be from 2014?
I believe that they made an exception for Supreme Court nominations in 2017--while they held a majority.

#### Jayjay

##### Contributor
How would the filibuster be eliminated in practice? My understanding is that in previous cases, the senate rules themselves were not changed, just their interpretation: someone calls for a vote for e.g. "the cloture doesn't apply to judicial nominations" and then the senate votes for that motion which can pass with a simple majority.

But to eliminate the cloture entirely seems like something that would require an actual rule change... what is the point of having rules if you can just overrule them at any time completely anyway? How can you have a rule that applies to nothing?
Yes, it would be a rule change. It can be implemented by the party in charge with a simple majority vote. In fact, the filibuster rule has been changed 161 times since its inception.
Then how do you explain that the republicans removed filibuster for supreme court nominations in 2017, but the latest senate rules seem to be from 2014?
I believe that they made an exception for Supreme Court nominations in 2017--while they held a majority.
Yes, the "nuclear option". Which is procedurally the same that democrats did in 2013. But the point is, there is no change in standing rules for either. But I'm not so sure that the same procedure can be done for the whole cloture vote because that would not be an "exception" to a rule, but abolishing the rule entirely.

I'm also seeing some inconsistent information about the rule change procedure. The wikipedia page linked above says 2/3rds are required, but I also thought it takes just a simple majority (although the rule change has to go through a committee first).

Staff member

#### ZiprHead

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
Per Wikipedia
In the United States Senate, the nuclear option is a parliamentary procedure that allows the Senate to override a standing rule by a simple majority, rather than the two-thirds supermajority normally required to amend Senate rules.

The nuclear option can be invoked by the Senate Majority Leader raising a point of order that contravenes a standing rule. The presiding officer would then deny the point of order based on Senate rules and precedents; this ruling would then be appealed and overturned by a simple majority vote, establishing a new precedent.
The nuclear option is always available. It can be used to eliminate the filibuster completely.

#### ZiprHead

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, argued that changing the requirement that most legislation needs 60 votes to advance would "silence the voices of millions and millions of Americans" represented by GOP senators.

"We will make their voices heard in this chamber in ways that are more inconvenient for the majority and this White House than what anybody has seen in living memory," McConnell said.

"What would a post-nuclear Senate look like? I assure you it would not be more efficient or more productive. I personally guarantee it," he added.

The Senate operates throughout the day on unanimous consent — meaning deals that have buy-in from the entire chamber. But McConnell warned that Republicans would be willing to block those routine agreements, making it more painful for Democrats to accomplish day-to-day steps like setting the schedule or allowing committee meetings.

"Do my colleagues understand how many times per day the Senate needs and get unanimous consent for basic housekeeping? Do they understand how many things would require roll-call votes, how often the minority could demand lengthy debate? Our colleagues who are itching for a procedural nuclear winter have not even begun to contemplate how it would look," McConnell said.
Schumer said fuck around and find out. (JK)

#### Jayjay

##### Contributor
Per Wikipedia
In the United States Senate, the nuclear option is a parliamentary procedure that allows the Senate to override a standing rule by a simple majority, rather than the two-thirds supermajority normally required to amend Senate rules.

The nuclear option can be invoked by the Senate Majority Leader raising a point of order that contravenes a standing rule. The presiding officer would then deny the point of order based on Senate rules and precedents; this ruling would then be appealed and overturned by a simple majority vote, establishing a new precedent.
The nuclear option is always available. It can be used to eliminate the filibuster completely.
How? The nuclear option so far has only been used to introduce exceptions to the filibuster rule. To ignore the rule completely requires next level mental gymnastics.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "3 insane but true facts about the filibuster:

1. The Founders didn't create the filibuster, and many directly opposed it. The Senate was designed and initially operated with simple-majority rule. The filibuster was essentially a mistake. (link)" / Twitter

noting
Is Aaron Burr really the father of the filibuster? - National Constitution Center

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "2. Between 1969 and 2014, the filibuster was reformed 161 times.

So the idea of creating an exception in the filibuster for voting rights or civil rights legislation — as many are now asking for — isn't new or radical. (link)" / Twitter

noting
Fixing the Senate Filibuster | Brennan Center for Justice
The filibuster itself has been changed numerous times. Between 1969 and 2014,  161 exceptions to its supermajority requirement were created. Senate majorities from both parties have approved carve outs and other changes related to executive branch and judicial nominations, budget reconciliation measures, and more. Even the 60-vote threshold has not always been a defining feature of the filibuster. In 1975, the Senate voted to lower the threshold from 67 votes to 60, as one response to the demand for reforms in the aftermath of Watergate.

Another consequential change in the mid-1970s was adoption of the “two-track” policy, which functionally eliminated the “talking filibuster.” Before this rule change, senators were required to hold the floor to execute a filibuster, blocking all Senate business until a cloture vote could be held. To better utilize time, the new rule established the dual-tracking system, allowing the Senate to work on multiple bills at once. Any bill being filibustered would move to a “back burner” until a cloture vote could be held, while the Senate focused on other bills instead. This change made it easier for a minority to kill a bill by simply indicating a desire to filibuster, thus blocking it before it ever can reach the Senate floor.
So most of those changes are one-time exceptions. But then again, this shows that there is a long tradition of creating one-time exceptions to the filibuster.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "3. The filibuster has been used consistently to defeat civil rights. Of the 30 measures defeated by the filibuster from 1917 and 1994, exactly half addressed civil rights. And, as recently as 2020, the filibuster was used to delay an anti-lynching bill. (link)" / Twitter
noting
Frustration and Fury as Rand Paul Holds Up Anti-Lynching Bill in Senate - The New York Times

notes that the filibuster is *not* in the Constitution, and lists where the Constitution specifies supermajorities:
• Overriding a veto by the President: 2/3 of both chambers
• Expulsion of a member: 2/3 of the member's chamber
• Impeachment of the President: 2/3 of Senate
• Constitutional amendments: 2/3 of both chambers, then 3/4 of states
Not for day-to-day business, however, and the Founders preferred majority vote. In Federalist Paper 22, Alexander Hamilton rejected unanimity or near-unanimity as making it too easy for some troublemaker or stubborn person to obstruct business.

Last edited:

#### ZiprHead

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
One of the big reasons the original articles of confederation was rejected was because it required super majorities.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram: “The Senate MUST end the filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. Our democracy depends on it. …”
The Senate MUST end the filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. Our democracy depends on it.

19 states passed laws that restrict the right to vote in 2021, disenfranchising millions of Americans. How many more will follow suit this year? We can't wait to find out.
She then uses Instagram as an alternative PowerPoint, something that I've often seen.

"3 INSANE BUT TRUE FACTS ABOUT THE FILIBUSTER"

1.
The Founders didn't create the filibuster, and many directly opposed it. The Senate was designed and initially operated with simple-majority rule. The filibuster was essentially a mistake.

(National Constitution Center)

...problems with filibusters weren't lost on the Founding Fathers, which is why the filibuster isn't spelled out in the Constitution.

"As Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 22, 'If a pertinacious minority can control the opinion of a majority ... [the government's] situation must always savor of weakness, sometimes border upon anarchy."

"The history of extended debate in the Senate belies the received wisdom that the filibuster was an original, Constitutional feature of the Senate. The filibuster is more accurately viewed as the unanticipated consequence of an early change to Senate rules,' [political scientist Sarah Binder] said.

Source: constitutioncenter.org/blog/is-aaron-burr-really-the-father-of-the-filibuster
pertinacious = stubborn

2.
Between 1969 and 2014, the filibuster was reformed 161 times. So the idea of creating an exception in the filibuster for voting rights or civil rights legislation as many are now asking for isn't new or radical.

(Brennan Center for Justice)

Fixing the Senate Filibuster

The filibuster has in fact undergone many modifications over its history, which can be accomplished via rules changes that require a simple majority vote. As in the past, there is a clear path for senators anxious to preserve what they see as the main benefits of the filibuster to do so while still moving forward with much needed legislation to secure voting rights, end extreme gerrymandering, and combat corruption.

Source: brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/fixing-senate-filibuster
As I'd mentioned, the reforms are mostly one-time exceptions -- a long tradition of one-time exceptions.

3.
The filibuster has been used consistently to defeat civil rights. Of the 30 measures that were blocked by the filibuster from 1917 to 1994, exactly half addressed civil rights. And, as recently as 2020, the filibuster was used to delay an anti-lynching bill.

(History.com)

6 Times the Filibuster Helped Senators Kill Big Bills The senate filibuster has been used by Senators in a variety of issues, including the gold standard, the New Deal and wartime production, to name a few. It has also been prominently wielded against civil rights and voting rights bills. Here are six major bills that the Senate filibuster has helped kill in U.S. history.

1891: Federal Elections Bill
1922: Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill
1934: Costigan-Wagner Anti-Lynching Bill
1942: Anti-Poll Tax Bill
1946: Fair Employment Practices Bill
1970: Amendment to Abolish Electoral College

Source: history.com/news/filibuster-bills-senate

#### blastula

##### Contributor
McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, argued that changing the requirement that most legislation needs 60 votes to advance would "silence the voices of millions and millions of Americans" represented by GOP senators.

The filibuster "silences" many more millions of Americans than ending it. The Senate is in large part controlled by minority rule at the moment. The House had recently been run by minority rule and the White House too. Republicans love minorities when it's them in power.

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
I've given mine if that helps.

What's your opinion on the filibuster, Jason?
Sure you have. Anyway,

My opinion is that anything that impedes legislation is good. I don't care which party is in charge of the Senate, as long as the minority party has the filibuster. My only worry is that a party might get 67%.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
I've given mine if that helps.

What's your opinion on the filibuster, Jason?
Sure you have. Anyway,

My opinion is that anything that impedes legislation is good. I don't care which party is in charge of the Senate, as long as the minority party has the filibuster. My only worry is that a party might get 67%.

Make government ineffective, then grumble about how ineffective it is. That's what it seems like to me.

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
I've given mine if that helps.

What's your opinion on the filibuster, Jason?
Sure you have. Anyway,

My opinion is that anything that impedes legislation is good. I don't care which party is in charge of the Senate, as long as the minority party has the filibuster. My only worry is that a party might get 67%.

Make government ineffective, then grumble about how ineffective it is. That's what it seems like to me.
I don't grumble about it being ineffective though. I grumble about it being too effective and how the few remaining impediments are little more than speed bumps.

#### Swammerdami

##### Squadron Leader
Staff member
Can't we just pay Joe Manchin money to vote with the Democrats? For just $30 million or so he'd become wealthier than Mitch McConnell; that should be enough, no? Surely saving our democracy is worth that much. If every hard-working Democrat contributed just a few dollars, we could raise the funds. Or — why not? It's what the GOP does — pay him from the public treasury by making Joe Manchin a National Monument or something. And if Joe or KS holds out for too much, I'm sure a couple of GOP Senators could be found to sell out QAnon-Trump for$10 million each or thereabouts.

Is anyone still pretending that it's not all about personal enrichment for these "Senators"?

#### Swammerdami

##### Squadron Leader
Staff member
I don't grumble about it being ineffective though. I grumble about it being too effective ...

The word "Democrat" has three silent k's.
So, if the libertarians* have their way, they will be "too" effective at restoring free and fair elections to the U.S.A.? The horror! ... The horror!

* "Libertarian" -- apparently the definition Jason is going with now is "a person who supports civil rights (including women's rights, gay rights, and voting rights) and may or may not do drugs."

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
...
I don't grumble about it being ineffective though. I grumble about it being too effective and how the few remaining impediments are little more than speed bumps.
So your ideal is a gouvernement fainéant? Something like monarques fainéants like Queen Elizabeth II.

That's taken from - "do-nothing king" - what the later Merovingian kings were, kings of early medieval France.

#### Swammerdami

##### Squadron Leader
Staff member
Counting King and Sanders there are 48 Democrats, so to change the rules we need only to disqualify the votes of four Senators from the QOP-Manchin camp. Can't the President of the Senate simply declare that Senators in Contempt of Congress are not allowed to vote? That's one down (Kevin McCarthy), 3 to go. Surely rebel Senators weren't allowed to vote during the First Civil War.

BTW, I'm not sure why McCarthy chose to be in contempt since he simply "has nothing more to add." Why can't he just appear, take an oath, and repeat "Refuse to answer because it would incriminate me" like other criminals do?

Can you imagine the outrage (and ruptured rectums) if the "Witch of Benghazi" had refused to testify?

#### Patooka

##### Veteran Member
I don't grumble about it being ineffective though. I grumble about it being too effective and how the few remaining impediments are little more than speed bumps.
There are, literally, around 20-100 people left in the entire world who would give a flying fuck about such infinitesimal semantics.

#### Elixir

##### Made in America
Can you imagine the outrage (and ruptured rectums) if the "Witch of Benghazi" had refused to testify?

They would likely lock her up, IMO.
The problem with your otherwise solid payola plan, is hiding the payments. We know McConnell has parlayed his power position into tens of millions, but do we know who paid him how much to do what?
I sure don’t. But it’s unlikely that it was all paid to him by legislators. Maybe lobbyists delivering paper bags of cash?

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
I don't grumble about it being ineffective though. I grumble about it being too effective and how the few remaining impediments are little more than speed bumps.
There are, literally, around 20-100 people left in the entire world who would give a flying fuck about such infinitesimal semantics.
You think the difference between "ineffective" and "too effective" is semantics.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
I don't grumble about it being ineffective though. I grumble about it being too effective and how the few remaining impediments are little more than speed bumps.
There are, literally, around 20-100 people left in the entire world who would give a flying fuck about such infinitesimal semantics.
You think the difference between "ineffective" and "too effective" is semantics.
If the less government the better, then the ideal government is none: anarchy.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Democrats' filibuster gambit unravels | TheHill
“I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country,” Sinema said during a Senate floor speech watched by several of her GOP colleagues. “Eliminating the 60-vote threshold will simply guarantee that we lose a critical tool that we need to safeguard our democracy.”
Why 60 votes and not some other number? 70? 80? 90? Unanimity? The Founders had plenty of experience with unanimity in the pre-independence Continental Congress, and it was not very good.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) piled on Thursday afternoon, saying that “I will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster” and that doing so would “pour fuel onto the fire of political whiplash and dysfunction that is tearing this nation apart.”
Neville Chamberlain would have been proud.
Biden acknowledged that reality as he left the Senate Democratic caucus lunch, telling reporters, “The honest-to-God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki vowed that the White House would keep pushing until the Senate voted, however, saying that “we’re gonna keep fighting until the votes are had.”

Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform | TheHill
As Sinema was speaking, several GOP senators were on the floor listening to her speech: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Sens. John Thune (S.D.), Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Thom Tillis (N.C.).

Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), who spoke before Sinema, and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) were at their desks for Sinema’s speech.
She's the Benedict Arnold of the progressive movement and the Democratic Party. JM I can understand, but her???

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I've given mine if that helps.

What's your opinion on the filibuster, Jason?
Sure you have. Anyway,

My opinion is that anything that impedes legislation is good. I don't care which party is in charge of the Senate, as long as the minority party has the filibuster. My only worry is that a party might get 67%.

That used to be a reasonable approach. Likewise, I used to feel that having the House and Senate held by opposite parties was good.

However, the Republicans are no longer being reasonable. It's not about stopping extremes, it's about stopping anything other than their party line. These days they only represent hardline Republicans, not America.

#### Patooka

##### Veteran Member
I don't grumble about it being ineffective though. I grumble about it being too effective and how the few remaining impediments are little more than speed bumps.
There are, literally, around 20-100 people left in the entire world who would give a flying fuck about such infinitesimal semantics.
You think the difference between "ineffective" and "too effective" is semantics.
No, that is what you think. You also think political slogans and paying Bioshock for the first time equals political ideology.

Me? It just says to me you bought your first Fisher Price "My First Opinion". And that you kept that until well into your 30s and then rationalised with yourself saying, "well it must have some value now". So good luck with that and have fun kiddo.

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
I don't grumble about it being ineffective though. I grumble about it being too effective and how the few remaining impediments are little more than speed bumps.
There are, literally, around 20-100 people left in the entire world who would give a flying fuck about such infinitesimal semantics.
You think the difference between "ineffective" and "too effective" is semantics.
No, that is what you think. You also think political slogans and paying Bioshock for the first time equals political ideology.

Me? It just says to me you bought your first Fisher Price "My First Opinion". And that you kept that until well into your 30s and then rationalised with yourself saying, "well it must have some value now". So good luck with that and have fun kiddo.

Having been caught out completely misinterpreting my post, and confusing "too effective" with "ineffective" and calling it "meaningless semantics", you now blame me for your mistake.