Democrats May Pressure the GOP Into Making the Filibuster Meaningless

An old strategy that’s worked for Democrats before may work again.


Democrats are dusting off a familiar strategy to advance key pieces of President Joe Biden's agenda through the evenly divided Senate over Republican objections. In doing so, they hope to pressure Republicans to finally support their effort to take up the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. And Democrats' past success employing the strategy to compel Republicans to cooperate with them suggests that their plan could work again this time.

Republicans have twice prevented the Senate from taking up the voting rights bill by filibustering it. The bill's supporters have called for changing the Senate rules to prevent a minority of senators from using the filibuster to prevent a majority from debating it on the Senate floor. In addition, they want Democrats to create a filibuster carveout for the voting rights bill, similar to the one senators granted debt-limit legislation last month.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) has acknowledged the growing frustration with the Senate's inability to debate voting rights. However, Schumer pledged that senators would have another opportunity to take up the bill before Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 17. He threatened Republicans that Democrats will eliminate the filibuster if the GOP uses it again to prevent the Senate from voting on the bill.

Democrats used the same strategy 10 years ago to compel Republicans to stop obstructing President Barack Obama's agenda and nominees. At the time, Republicans repeatedly gave in to Democrats' demands to pass rule changes that disadvantaged them and support presidential nominees they had previously opposed.

Republicans can use the right to filibuster or debate the voting rights bill to prevent the Senate from taking it up in the first place. Unlike the simple majority it takes for actually passing legislation, it takes three-fifths of the Senate to invoke cloture (i.e., end debate) on the bill as well as a motion to proceed to its consideration. The filibuster empowers Republicans to obstruct Biden's agenda, though Democrats are not powerless either. Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the Constitution empowers a majority of senators to determine the rules that regulate the Senate's proceedings, including those related to the filibuster.

Democrats and Republicans alike have used this power in the past to restrict the minority's ability to filibuster their agenda on the Senate floor. And Democrats are presently betting that the threat to eliminate the filibuster will pressure Republicans to drop their opposition to the voting rights bill.

Democrats previously threatened to eliminate the filibuster on several occasions between 2011 and 2013. At the time, Democrats believed they could compel enough Republicans to vote to end their party's filibusters by clearly communicating in advance their threat to eliminate it if Republicans did not cooperate.

Democrats' threats pressured leading Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) and then–Rules Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R–Tenn.) to negotiate a rules reform package at the beginning of the 112th Congress that empowered Democrats and disadvantaged Republicans. Democrats threatened to eliminate the filibuster in 2013 if Republicans did not drop their opposition to Obama's picks for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, secretary of labor, and Environmental Protection Agency administrator.

The threat worked. Democrats successfully pressured Republicans to change their position. The Senate invoked cloture on Richard Cordray's nomination for CFPB director by a vote of 71–29. Seventeen Republicans voted to end the debate on Cordray despite having signed a letter pledging to oppose his nomination. And Democrats averted filibusters on Secretary of Labor Tom Perez's nomination and Gina McCarthy's nomination to be EPA administrator. Six Republicans who previously opposed Perez's nomination voted instead to advance it, including Alexander, Sen. Mark Kirk (R–Ill.), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R–Alaska).

Democrats' previous threats to eliminate the filibuster compelled many Republicans to cooperate with them. The Republicans in question believed they could preserve the filibuster in the long term by agreeing not to use it at the moment. But their repeated capitulations instead encouraged Democrats to keep threatening to eliminate the filibuster whenever Republicans used it to frustrate Democratic plans. Republican behavior signaled to Democrats that they would continue to fold in the future.

Democrats hope to recreate the same dynamic concerning the voting rights bill with their latest threat. Suppose they succeed in pressuring Republicans to capitulate––in that case, the result will be to make the filibuster meaningless without eliminating it.

NEXT: Justice Sotomayor Exaggerated the Number of Severe COVID-19 Cases Among Children

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. What a backwards post. The filibuster should never exist. It is not in the Constitution and offends the concept of majority rule. It historically has been used to block civil rights bills. Even if you take the position that it is legitimate, then the use of the filibuster was supposed to be used only in rare circumstances for bills that a member really really opposes and is willing to grind the Senate to a halt over it.

    This post takes the backwards position that the 60 vote threshold in the Senate is normal and anything, even normal political threats and horse trading, that affects the filibuster is bad.

    1. The entire point of our governmental structure is to avoid majority rule. There are layers upon layers of "not majority rule" built in to the system.

      Hell, the very foundation of the civil rights you hold up as your example is laid upon the structures of government that prevent majority rule.

      Get some civics classes in a hurry!

      1. House passes laws on a majority vote.
        EC chooses the President on a majority vote.
        SCOTUS decides cases based on a majority vote.

        1. One very large problem with a pure majority rule is that majorities aren't stable. A single election can change one party's majority to the other's. Recall that only four years ago, the Republicans held the Presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress.

          Under a simple majority rule of the kind that MollyGodiva appears to advocate, we could expect to see major changes in the laws with every change of majority. Those of us who have to live under those laws wouldn't be able to plan for the future with any kind of confidence, since we wouldn't know whether we'd be living in an environment dominated by Trumpniks or Sandersistas.

          A supermajority requirement introduces an element of stability. It's quite easy for the Senate to go from 51-49 to 49-51, but the likelihood that it'd go from 60-40 to 40-60 is very small. That makes it unlikely that a law, once passed, will be reversed two years hence, or that we'd have to worry about the immediate return of a law or program that was voted down by a filibuster-proof majority.

          1. My business plans are often 3-5 years out. Larger companies go further out.

            We don't need Congress reversing the rules back and forth every two years.

            1. Sᴛᴀʀᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ʜᴏᴍᴇ! Gʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴊᴏʙ ғᴏʀ sᴛᴜᴅᴇɴᴛs, sᴛᴀʏ-ᴀᴛ-ʜᴏᴍᴇ ᴍᴏᴍs ᴏʀ ᴀɴʏᴏɴᴇ ɴᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ᴇxᴛʀᴀ ɪɴᴄᴏᴍᴇ... Yᴏᴜ ᴏɴʟʏ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀ ʀᴇʟɪᴀʙʟᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ... Mᴀᴋᴇ $90 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜᴘ ᴛᴏ $12000 ᴀ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʙʏ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ʟɪɴᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴛᴛᴏᴍ ᴀɴᴅ sɪɢɴɪɴɢ ᴜᴘ... Yᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ʙʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴅ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇᴇᴋ,go to tech tab for work detail,.......... Visit Here

              1. Gʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴊᴏʙ ғᴏʀ sᴛᴜᴅᴇɴᴛs, sᴛᴀʏ-ᴀᴛ-ʜᴏᴍᴇ ᴍᴏᴍs ᴏʀ ᴀɴʏᴏɴᴇ ɴᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ᴇxᴛʀᴀ ɪɴᴄᴏᴍᴇ... Yᴏᴜ ᴏɴʟʏ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀ ʀᴇʟɪᴀʙʟᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ... Mᴀᴋᴇ $90 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜᴘ ᴛᴏ $12920 ᴀ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʙʏ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ʟɪɴᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴛᴛᴏᴍ ᴀɴᴅ sɪɢɴɪɴɢ ᴜᴘ... Yᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ʙʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴅ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇᴇᴋ,go to tech tab for work detail,..........

                Try it, you won’t regret it........CASHAPP NOW

          2. This is said as if a filibuster free senate would open up for pure majority rule. The founding fathers were smarter than that. The constitution guarantees that even if representatives for a majority of the *people* votes for something it won’t pass if it doesn’t have support from a majority of the *states*. Checks and balances…

            1. That made sense before the 17th Amendment. Now the Senate is just a smaller House of Representatives, and would be even more so without a filibuster. As it is, the states are not represented in Congress.

        2. Anything that isn’t in the constitution can obviously never exist. Is that what you’re really going with Molly?

          1. I’ll make it much simpler. Molly, like most democrats, is in favor of any argument justifying more democrat power. Just as they favor the rule of law only when it benefits democrats.

            Democrats are an existential threat. Eliminate them as soon as possible.

            1. Molly is a lying pile of dishonest lefty shit; that's all you need to know.
              Why the asshole is not universally muted is a mystery to me; I suggest clicking that little satellite-looking thingy up there to the right the next time there's a post from this slimy pile of shit.

        3. And the constitution says, "No matter how big a majority you get, you can't do THESE THINGS unless you amend this very document, which is extremely difficult to do."

          Read a book.

          1. Start working at home with G00gle! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour.

            I work thr0ugh this link, G0 to tech tab for work detail.………_>>>>> CLICK NOW

        4. You cite the Electoral College vote as evidence to support your point; yet, the ENTIRE reason there is an electoral college is to prevent simple majority rule. It balances the power between highly populous larger states and smaller ones and less populous ones. Without the EC, we would only elect president’s who primarily appeal to California and New York.

          As a native of one of those states and having lived in the other, thank god we don’t do things that way!

      2. thats why " they" are so bent on changing it TO majority rule- Democracy- and their version of D. called "mob rule."

    2. "It historically has been used to block civil rights bills."

      That's stupid. Should forks be banned because they've been used to poke people in the eye?

      Requiring more of a general consensus than a simple majority for anything but spending and tax bills makes a lot of sense.

      I think we should require a two-thirds majority to raise taxes and a simple majority to cut them.

    3. Lord protect us from people who want majority rules.

      1. Hitler had them.

    4. Predictably, you are completely incorrect. The article is not 'backwards' simply because you disagree based on your limited comprehension of how and why the government works the way it does. The filibuster may have been used to block civil rights bills, it has been for a plethora of bills, by both political parties. Many of the uses of the filibuster by the democrats do not meet your ludicrous demand for a standard and myopic historical take. Inclusion of a race specific argument demonstrates poor reasoning ability versus emotional reaction and attachment to biases.

    5. The villa buster was created in response to the illegal declaration by Woodrow Wilson that the 16th and 17th Amendments “had been ratified.” This completely neutered States Rights, and turned the Senate int just another popular election circus.

      The Senate, as originally proposed by our Founders, was meant specifically to moderate “tyranny of a slim majority over a slim minority.” In other words, protect the rights of the minority from capricious fads.

      The filibuster is completely Constitutional, and it’s elimination will only result in larger and larger swings in law if abolished.

      Bottom line - if you can’t get 3/5ths to support your insane ideas, you have no business even bringing them for a vote.

      1. Stupid spell check. Should be filibuster.

    6. About 99% of what our government is and does today is not in the Constitution, why should this be different? What really offends the Constitution.
      Federal government take over of elections.
      Letting non-citizens vote.
      Making cites into states to pack the Senate.
      Open borders.
      The Fed
      A standing Army

    7. "It historically has been used to block civil rights bills."

      We will forgive you if you thought this kind of elementary school argumentation would have any traction among those who can critically think. As you spend most of your time around people incapable of doing so, this kind of argument is normally considered competent in your circles.

      Of course if we extrapolate that reasoning out, we could find a reason to eliminate almost anything that was ever used with malice. Especially in todays world, where the postmodern loving neomarxists play the six degrees of separation game, except with the goal being "racism happened" instead of Kevin Bacon. Using this sort of logic one could basically ban anything they disagree with (which of course is your intent).

      But of course none of your thinking is that deep. You spend all of your time consuming a garbage media diet in which all one has to do is say "did you know X policy is RAHCIST?!?!" or call something a relic of white supremacy and that alone is enough for an outright ban. Sorry pumpkin, but the Joy Reid gambit doesnt really work here.

    8. It shouldn't be 60 votes it should be 2/3 majority 67 votes to pass anything.

  2. And in exchange the Democrats lost Garland as a supreme court justice.

    And what we have learned in the following years is that the Democrats would have been far better off with Garland on the court and no damage to the filibuster.

    Garland has proven to be the most political attorney general of the modern era. He has shown himself to be willing to bend and break the law to suit political objectives. He has proven to be not just willing, but eager to prosecute people for political reasons.

    Imagine how much more damage a guy like that could have been doing from the high court.

    1. No. Garland was blocked because the Rs controlled the Senate. No filibuster about it. However, if there was a SCOTUS filibuster still in place then Trump would never have had 3 appointees. Mitch would have killed the filibuster anyhow for Trumps nominees.

      1. You can say they followed the constitutional requirements without spitting. Thanks.

      2. Love condemning Republicans for maybe doing what Democrats are blatantly, AGAIN, threatening to do.

    2. Garland makes Barr look like a piker.

      1. He makes Holder look honest and just.

    3. Exactly correct. Garland was unqualified for SCOTUS, and similarly unqualified as AG.

  3. Just wondering - -
    There are 50 Republican senators.
    There are 48 Democratic senators.
    There are two independent senators.
    How is that the Republicans are not the majority party?

    1. Because the two independents caucus with the Ds and thus add their support for the Ds as the majority party.

    2. (I) = (D) and half of (R) = (D)

    3. One of the independents is a self-described socialist, and the Vice President gets to break ties--as the President of the Senate.

    4. bc they are complicit, spineless turncoats.

      Canada has President Uni- Brow, we have the Congressional Uni- Party.

      They resolutely and in total ignore Us to do whatever their Party Corporations want.

    5. Because they cheated in the election. One of two seated /illegitimate Georgia Senators did not even legally qualify for the run off.

  4. They hold a vote. When the 2 independents vote with D, the Veep breaks the tie. And thusly, elections have consequences.

  5. Take off, and nuke the 17th Amendment from orbit.

    It's the only way to be sure.

    1. Utterly pointless. Before the 17th passed in the first place, a supermajority of states had already adopted state-level rules requiring the legislature to choose the person who won a statewide election for the office.

      1. Maybe not so pointless. You'd remove some political power from Washington DC and devolve it to the states. Might also have the effect of diminishing party influence in the Senate.

        1. It's hard to imagine a worse idea than letting state legislatures pick Senators.

          Among other things, a gerrymandered legislature would then rob the state's voters of the power to at least choose their Senators.

          And the "devolution" argument does not appeal. I see no reason why that would happen, or why it would be a good thing if it did.

    2. Eliminating the 17th only makes it more likely that Senators will be chosen primarily for their party loyalty. Direct election at least gives all the state's voters some element of choice: moderates can vote for the less extreme of the Democratic and Republican candidates.

      Rather than dumping the 17th, we should be pushing for nonpartisan jungle primaries; and we should keep an eye on Alaska's ranked-choice general election, and press for its adoption in other states if it works well there. Eliminate partisan primaries, and it's substantially less likely that voters in the general election will have to choose between a Trump-uber-alles Republican and a free-everything-for-everybody Democrat.

      1. " makes it more likely that Senators will be chosen primarily for their party loyalty. "

        .From what planet are you? Its that way NOW!

  6. "Schumer pledged that senators would have another opportunity to take up the bill before Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 17. He threatened Republicans that Democrats will eliminate the filibuster if the GOP uses it again to prevent the Senate from voting on the bill."

    Earlier this week, I mentioned in comments that Schumer's primary interest, in all this, appears to be heading off a potential primary challenge by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for his Senate seat in 2022.

    I maintain that the the moderate Democrats in the Senate (and the House) are not interested in taking a vote on a controversial piece of legislation in an election year--regardless of what Chuck Schumer wants.

    There are two basic ways for moderates in swing districts and swing states to win an election: 1) rile up your own party's base, or 2) appeal to moderate swing voters in both parties. Taking a vote on a controversial piece of legislation hurts both strategies.

    If a moderate Democrat votes against a progressive piece of legislation, the radical progressives in his constituency won't vote for the Republican. They'll just stay home--and that frustrates your attempt to rile up your base. If a moderate Democrat votes in favor of a progressive piece of legislation, the swing voters will show up in November in force to moderate you.

    If Chuck Schumer is seen as being anything less than as far left as he can be (at the moment), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will challenge him in the closed primaries for his Senate seat. I am not the only one to notice. I've read about it in numerous news outlets on and off over the past year, some of which I linked here in comments the other day.

    Meanwhile, there are 99 senators who know what Chuck Schumer is doing and why, as well. His motives aren't a mystery to anybody who's been reading what passes for political news on the left over the past year. Suffice it to say, Schumer's biggest obstacle may not be Republicans at all. There isn't more pressure for this than there was for BBB. Call me when the moderate Democrats get on board--in both the House and the Senate--and then we should get really worried.

    I understand and appreciate that the Republicans have capitulated in the face of threats to get rid of the filibuster entirely at various times. Mitch McConnell succumbed to a threat like that earlier this year over the infrastructure bill. That threat isn't credible for the Republicans for a number of reasons, and one of them is that the Republicans would be holding the door open for the Republicans to stack the deck against them in the upcoming midterms.

    If things stay as they are, the Republicans will probably take control of the Senate in 2022. They'll almost certainly take control of the House. Why would the Republicans lift the filibuster for a bill to make it less likely that they'll be reelected? This isn't a spending bill. This isn't about taxes. This is a bill that will make it less likely for Republican Representatives and Senators to get reelected in the upcoming midterms. Don't have any faith in politicians, but have a little faith in knowing not to commit political suicide by holding the filibuster door open for this.

    "So far, 23 Democratic representatives have said they won't seek re-election [in the upcoming midterms], including five in December alone."

    ----NBC News, December 24, 2021

    What do we know that 23 retiring Democrats (who'd rather not even bother trying to run for reelection) don't know? How pressured should Republicans be by Schumer's threats--when 23 Democrats aren't even bothering to run in 2022 (almost certainly) because they know they'll lose? Am I absolutely certain the filibuster won't be lifted and this bill won't pass? Absolutely not. But if we keep our sense or proportion and look at the bigger picture, we'd be smart to bet against the filibuster being lifted and this bill being passed.

    1. "That threat isn't credible for the Republicans for a number of reasons, and one of them is that the Republicans would be holding the door open for the Republicans [Democrats] to stack the deck against them in the upcoming midterms."

      ----Ken Shultz


      There's always a Justin Amash or a Liz Cheney, out there, who will commit political suicide on principle. There's no larger principle at stake here. I'd just bet on the Republicans not voting to hurt their own reelection chances in the upcoming election.

    2. ". Mitch McConnell succumbed to a threat like that earlier this year over the infrastructure bill. "

      That makes him sound like a victim.
      Nay, Nay!
      . Hes been there too long to play the Victim Card.

      NONE of them are fulfilling their duties as REPRESENTATIVES.

      That is, simply polling the People as to their wishes. And then saying " no" if those wishes corrupt Separation of Powers or the Constitution.

  7. "Suppose they succeed in pressuring Republicans to capitulate..."

    Since the whole point of Republican politicians is to capitulate to Democrats, I think that's a pretty safe supposition.

    1. I don't think it's a safe assumption on this one at all--not when it's about stacking the deck against themselves in the upcoming election.

      P.S. Here are the Republicans voting unanimously against the American Rescue Plan Act, which squandered $1.9 trillion on Covid stimulus.

      How's that for capitulating to the Democrats?

      1. It is easy to vote against massive spending when it's the other team proposing it.

        It is much harder to vote against massive spending when it's your own team proposing it.

        It would be nice to see the number of Republicans who voted against both Biden's massive spending bill and Trump's massive spending bill.

        1. Group A believes in spending for X Y and Z

          Group B believes in spending for X

          A and B vote for X

          A votes against Y and Z

          Jeff: see! Both sides are exactly the same!

          1. Yeah, it’s a pathetic shitweasel argument. And Jeff is a pathetic shitweasel.

        2. Trump's massive spending bill was a shit-ton less massive, and was at least more focused on issues the nation was facing. The spending biden has pushed through, and proposed, largely center around social programs and other DNC base specific issues. Thus the 'everything is infrastructure' statements out of dimwits like gillibrand.

          1. The Democrats passing $1.9 trillion in Covid stimulus spending--over the 100% unanimous opposition of the Republicans--certainly isn't evidence that both parties are the same . . . no matter what Trump did or didn't do.

            ChemJeff is an idiot.

            1. no, Chem Jeffs a LIAR.

              Thats how Trolls work.

              Youre an idiot for responding TO a Troll.

              A correct and logical idiot, but nontheless...

  8. Is reason trying to find a way to blame the gop for the filibuster ending?

  9. If the NYT and the WaPo start talking shit about the racists who refuse to support the John L Lewis Voting Rights Act, there will easily be half a dozen Republicans scrambling to support it just in the hopes the NYT and the WaPo will say something nice about them.

    1. Yes but the Slimes and Pist are high grade Toilet Paper.

      The Slimes, used TP.

  10. There is a major difference between capitulating to get some presidential appointments through and passing these "institutionalize the steal" bills.
    Despite not all of them being willing to state it, Republicans know that the 2020 election was stolen and that these "electoral reform" bills will enshrine regulations on a federal level, that guarantee every federal election will be stolen.
    They may be from the stupid party, and willing to stand by while Donald Trump was thrown from office through massive fraud, but Republicans won't do something that will cost them their seats.

    1. I hope you're right but fear you're wrong.

    2. I'm a Republican, and I know that the 2020 Presidential election was *not* stolen, despite Donald Trump's efforts to steal it.

      1. typical Troll comment..." Im a Conservative but I espouse Leftist idealogy..."

        1. Understanding that the election was not stolen is not espounding leftist ideology, it's simply stating fact based on all available evidence.

          1. All available evidence indeed. Never mind everything dumped.

      2. "I'm a Republican, and I know that the 2020 Presidential election was *not* stolen, despite Donald Trump's efforts to steal it."

        I'm not, but as one not addled by TDS, I saw no credible evidence that Trump attempted to do so.
        I'd suggest you seek treatment. Or perhaps quit lying.

    3. The only people who believe the 2020 election was stolen are mentally ill conspiracy theorists and Russian agitators and assets.

      Which are you, I wonder?

      Not very mysterious.

      The reality is that the Republicans are very desperate to suppress the vote because they've been on decline for decades due to their utter inability to get rid of people like you.

      The youth vote has swung really, really hard against the Republicans; they haven't even tied it since 2000.

      In fact, Trump lost the youth vote in a whopping 43 states, and lost it nationally 61-37.

      This is the real problem that the Republican party is facing, and why they are doubling down on the Big Lie - they can't admit the truth, that their platform is unappealing to the majority of Americans, and they need to change it, or else, as the conservative Baby Boomers die off, they're going to lose the ability to win elections in all but the reddest states.

      Riling up the base only works as long as your base still has a pulse, and it is increasingly dying of old age and COVID.

      Indeed, COVID deaths are disproportionately affecting Republicans, because so many of them are anti-vax.

      It's why McConnel wants COVID protocols - because the old conservative voters are the most likely group to die of COVID.

      The Republican party needs to reevaluate its platform. If you can't attract the majority of the youth vote for decades on end, you're going to die as a political force over time.

      It's been 20 years now. 20 years of young people voting for the Democrats.

      What did you think was going to happen?

      1. HOLY SHIT!
        Even 30% 0f the LieCheatSteal party admit they believe there was cheating in the 2020 election.
        The youth vote?
        Pull your head out of your ass.

      2. "mentally ill conspiracy theorists and Russian agitators and assets."

        Nice of you to out yourselves.

      3. More bullshit from a Marxist troll. There was massive fraud in the election. Among other problems. Only a Marxist traitor or a brainwashed retard would say otherwise.

        Which are you?

      4. Oh, boy! The TDS-addled asshole from the left!
        Fuck off and die.

  11. The problem is not the filibuster itself but the oversized influence of the two parties. Parties have the ability to hold members in-line and thus prevent legislation. If members were freer to decide I think more legislation would get debated and better bills would be passed.

    1. I think Moderation4ever's correct in that party influence is the problem. However, the trouble isn't that party leadership can hold members in line; it's that members who don't appease the most radical elements of their parties are likely to be primaried out of office.

      Reducing the power of party leadership wouldn't be all that useful a measure. What we really need to do is eliminate the preferred status of the D and R parties in elections.

      We haven't had time to observe how well the new Alaska system works, with a jungle primary sending its four top-scoring candidates to a ranked-choice general election. But if it proves successful—and voter turnout should emphatically not be used as a metric for success—we should press for its adoption in our own states.

      1. Ironically, most of the extremists problems we suffer in this country are precisely because the parties themselves are not all that dominant. Extreme wings backed by individual wealthy donors have stripped the power of the political parties to keep members in line and somewhat moderate.

      2. Yeah……. You’re clearly Mod’s sock. Responding to your own stupid bullshit because there aren’t many people here who would ever back you up.

      3. "I think Moderation4ever's correct.."
        You've made things much easier to understand, TDS-addled asshole:
        Fuck off and die.

  12. National divorce might be the better solution..according to libertarians right Reason?

    1. Better a million leftists die in agony than Americans give up one square inch of this country. Democrats are welcome to leave. I’m sure most of us would gladly see them expatriated.

  13. What... the hell is the article? Is this Vox or Slate?? I thought I was on Reason.

    This will not work if you have at all been paying attention. Have you not heard of two Dem Senators named Manchin and Sinema?? They have literally said they will not support ending the filibuster or carving it out. This is different than 2013, when the Dems had an actual decent majority.

    Really, how the hell can this article be written without talking about them two??

    1. More like The Sun (US)

  14. The filibuster has been very useful to the majority party, because it allows them to pander to their base by voting for something, without the risk of it actually passing.

    If the filibuster goes away, that benefit also goes away.

  15. Easily resolved. McConnell needs to state that any “one-time” suspension of the rules will result in Republicans making such a rule change permanent and all-encompassing when they next control Congress and the executive branch.
    McConnell should state that over and over.

    1. Rules dont matter to D's.

      Irrelevant if its 50:48.

      Vote straight and the Demon-rats will fade into obscurity.

      This is RINO Kabuki Theatre to disguise their participation in the Uni- Party.

  16. And Democrats are presently betting that the threat to eliminate the filibuster will pressure Republicans to drop their opposition to the voting rights bill.

    A bad bet in an evenly divided Senate.

    As long as Manchin remains opposed to altering the filibuster rule there is no pressure on the Republicans.

    1. Well to be accurate, its not 48 : 50 when 4 of the 50 are Democrat Plants and 14 are bought.

      "Im a Mog, half man, half dog...I'm my own best friend!"


      1. Right, that's why Manchin wasn't able to block the Build Back Better bill.


        1. no, not not.

          False argument.

          No it isnt is a bs comment.

          Give your 50 cents back. You didnt earn it

  17. A PRIME example of the Lying Media.

    "The first edition of the earliest Masonic constitution written in 1723, six years after the first lodge was created in England, is one of the gems of the collection JANEK SKARZYNSKI AFP"

    Photo caption of a book stating:

    "of that Most Ancient Fraternity"

    The two are a GROSS contradiction.


  18. I don’t think that Schumer has anywhere the votes he needs for this. As noted above, he nominally controls 50’votes, and wins ties with votes by VP Harris. He’s down two votes already (Manchin and Sinema) who represent deep and moderately red states. Then there are the two Senators (AZ, GA) elected in 2020 from states at the epicenter of the voting fraud, likely elected by that fraud, and up for reelection this year. Throw in a couple more Red and Purple state Senators (like Tester of now Red MT), and They are effectively down to 44-45 votes.

    What those who get their news from Blue State media don’t seem to grasp is the The voters in a lot of Red states, and esp AZ and GA know that their votes were negated by massive voter fraud in 2020. Anyone paying attention here in AZ knows that there were well over 500k questionable, very illegal votes counted that year, from the Senate audit in just this one county (Maricopa), giving Biden his 10k and Kelly his 20k margin of victory. Everyone paying attention during the election knows. There were continuous spontaneous rallies from Trump, and none for Biden. A couple Biden signs would go up, and the next day, they would be lost in a sea of Trump signs that popped up over night. There were Trump bumper stickers everywhere, and none for Biden. The fraud was of epic proportions, because it had to be. And any Senator voting to institutionalize the fraud is going to get creamed the next time they go on the ballot (Kelly in 2022 and Sinema in 2024).

    The other thing to keep in mind is that these 5-6 Senators who know that they will lose their seats if they vote for either entrenching voter fraud, or the Build Back Bankrupt bills, really, really, don’t want to have to be on the record voting for these bills, but most don’t want to actually vote against them. Maintaining the century and a half sanctity of the filibuster is a very cheap way to prevent this.

    1. Two tweaks to the above. First, the level of the fraud here in AZ was shown by a combination of both the AZ Senate audit, and a canvas. Secondly, even more than the number of bumper stickers present in Maricopa county in late October and the first couple days in November, in 2020, were the number of MAGA hats and shirts seen all over the city. There were none for Biden seen anywhere, except maybe in the Whole Foods in N Scottsdale (which also, coincidentally, is the one place where most everyone is masked). The enthusiasm for Trump was almost palpable. There was none for Biden. Then Biden won the state by 10k votes. WTF?

      1. Fools like you are the reason why there are two Democrat senators from Arizona. You choose stridency and stupidity, and you receive defeat. You'll be relitigating the 2020 election and goose stepping behind (state Republican party chief, Chemtrail) Kelli Ward right off the cliff into political irrelevance.

        Although in fairness, you're already rolling down said cliff. The time for choosing was years ago, and you chose wrong. Your continued obeisance to stupidity is probably just sunk cost fallacy.

        Can you please move to some ruby red state where you can't hurt the Republican party in primaries anymore?

  19. As filibuster is a fiat not in the constitution - (please cite the line number where 60 is number of votes for majority) nor is it the house, its days are numbered and good riddance.

    Denying a majority of voters laws they support is what the senate is frequently about, GOP voters have not represented a majority of voter since 1996! Time to allow votes on bills again - THATS WHAT THE JOB IS ABOUT.

    Allowing a majority to continue to block majority will cause the majority to eventually REPLACE democracy, as is happening in many countries now.


      Article 1 Section 5 Clause 2

      Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

      The filibuster is part of the rules the Senate has established for it's proceedings.

      1. Again 60 votes or other does not Exist in the constitution.

        Yes the constitution allows fiat - rules - to change as they see fit and can be what majority wants.

    2. Learn English, idiot.

  20. you childish idiot...the filibuster is there to give cover for Dem and GOP senators give them an excuse for not passing populist legislation that they promised while campaigning..this latest shenanigan regarding voting rights legislation is NOT populist legislation; it is neoliberal legislation that further divides the populace and thus empowers the elites...thus the media, the dems and the gop are all collaborating to make it look like the gop was forced to vote for this neoliberal voting rights legislation that will of course discriminate against the gop white voter base...once this neoliberal/non-populist bill is passed, the kabuki dance will continue with the filibuster in place...

    1. Its odd how the Ds stance on voting rights boils down to " minorities are too stupid to vote."

      When will minorities get a clue?


  21. This is an imbecilic way to frame it: The Democrats are threatening to completely eliminate the filibuster, and offering the Republicans a deal where it's partially retained if the Republicans cooperate.

    But everybody knows that the Democrats don't have the votes to eliminate the filibuster, or they wouldn't be offering a deal in the first place.

    And they'll be eliminating it the next time they see it as in their interest.

    So, speaking strategically, Republicans should refuse to cooperate as long as Biden is President, even if they end up the Senate majority in 2022. Because if you can't overcome a filibuster, you're certainly not overcoming a veto.

    But should they take the Senate in 2022, and the White house in 2024, they should kill the filibuster, because it's already obvious that the Democrats will get rid of it themselves, so it's already guaranteed to be no use to them should they actually need it.

    It's all but history now, will only survive a couple more election cycles, because the Democrats themselves have committed now to its destruction, and it could only survive as long as BOTH parties found it valuable.

    1. Strategically, they had a chance to eliminate the filibuster a year ago. But now it has been tied to a couple of relatively unpopular bills that can only pass if the filibuster is eliminated. Because of that they don’t have the Dem votes to change the rule, and their only hope is to peel off some Republican votes.

      1. McConnell loved the filibuster too much to have gotten rid of it in the first half of the Trump administration, when it might have let them accomplish something. His primary goal wasn't passing conservative legislation, it was shielding RINOs from exposure by blocking any votes where they'd piss off the people who'd elected them.

        I don't much like WHAT the Democrats try to accomplish when in power, but I'll say this much: Unlike the Republican establishment, they are at least out to accomplish things.

        Bad things, but they're actually trying to deliver.

        It often seems that only one side in this fight actually wants to win. The Republicans are the Washington Generals of politics, they're just there to look like they put up a fight while losing.

    2. The Rs need to grow a pair and vote everything the Ds want down.

      Dont negotiate with TERRORISTS.

      Manchin did.

    3. ...and Ds dont want cooperation.

      They want total control.

  22. This article twice shits on Republican leadership during the Obama presidency for giving into "rule changes." What rule changes? The article never details them.

    True, a decade ago Republican leadership eventually ceased opposing certain executive nominations. But this article stupidly asserts Republican actions were solely to preserve the filibuster, as if the Democrats' threat was credible AND the Republicans' interests were solely its preservation. Neither were true.

    If that episode has given Democrats the impression that (a similar and overlapping) Republican leadership will cave and cease filibustering a nationalized, mail-in elections bill, that's Democrats' misapprehension.

    Proposed election laws aren't making it into a budget reconciliation bill. This bill is not passing unless the Democrats nuke the filibuster, which they do not have the votes for. So this bill is not passing.

    1. Ds dont want to pass anything. They just want to obstruct, blame Rs and bitch about it, pretending to be the Victims.

      They perpetually bitch and lie about " rich dont pay taxes," but have they changed the Tax Code?

      Hell no! Then rich Ds would have to pay!

      Fuck Joe Biden and his Pet Monkey Fauci.

  23. James, for the "threat" to have any teeth, the Democrats need to have the votes carry it out. In other words, they need 50 votes (plus VP Harris) to nuke or change the filibuster rule. They don't, since Manchin and Sinema have made it clear, repeatedly, that they will not go along. Without all 50 votes in his pocket, Schumer has no leverage over the Republicans.

    1. Perhaps the author of this thinks that Schumer and the other Democrats can pressure Manchin and Sinema to change their position and go along with eliminating the filibuster. However, Manchin is already basically a moderate Republican who likes unions, and if he really starts to feel the pressure, I suspect he'll change parties just so he can deprive Harris of the tie-breaking vote and vote Schumer out.

  24. Start working at home with G00gle! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour.

    I work thr0ugh this link, G0 to tech tab for work detail.………_>>>>> Click Here<b

  25. The business of Congress can be ground to a halt with an email from a member of the minority party in the Senate.

    Just as the founding fathers intended.

  26. To eliminate the filibuster is short sighted and will be regretted in the future.

  27. When it fits the narrative it's a "climate event," and anyone who makes the above weather comparison is a dumbass who ignores

  28. The filibuster should remain for Democrats once they lose power due to their overreach. The filibuster helps to protect the citizens from the partisan politicians who idiotically believe they have a mandate and overreach. Removing the filibuster to punish the Republicans will punish the Democrats much sooner that they anticipate.

    Control of the Senate, Congress and Executive party vacillates between two highly corrupt political parties. The filibuster helps to tame the swing which is beneficial to the vast majority of the citizens, but detrimental for the rabid fringes of the left and the right.

  29. "Democrats used the same strategy 10 years ago to compel Republicans to stop obstructing President Barack Obama's agenda and nominees. "

    Rewrite. "Ds using Obstruction to counter obstruction."

    "Obstructing I-bamas agenda" was a Lying Left Wing Talking Point to demonize anyone who wouldnt kow -tow to I-Bamas demanding he be able to do anything he pleaded without Congress, just like Bitemes trying to do now.

    It was a lie. Presidents dont make laws, CON-gress does. And they do not make laws FOR Presidents.

    So, the False Meme of " obstruction" was same as now, R's getting in the way if D's trying to railroad their radical agendas by effectively eliminating Separation of Powers.

    Heres a video of " obstruction..."

  30. I don't believe the filibuster should be eliminated. However, I believe it should be a real "talking" filibuster so that using it is not at a whim.

  31. I agree. Originally the filibuster required a Senator or a small group of Senators to hold the floor in the Senate chamber itself, by talking 24 hours a day. It was physically exhausting. It blocked all other Senate business that required the main chamber. It made many other Senators angry because they could not advance their own legislation, usually even many in the filibusterer's own party. It made it likely that every thing the filibuster tried to do for several years after would be blocked by those other Senators. And it would look quite stupid on TV (once TV existed, and only if a network could get a camera into the chamber), except to those who both fully supported their position on this issue and thought it was important enough to be obstructing government. And so it was very rare, and never used for a trivial issue.

    But they changed the rules. The change took the filibuster off-line, leaving the Senate chamber clear for other business, but it also removed the physical challenges, most of the ill-will from other Senators, and looking like an obstructive idiot on CNN when CNN got live camera feeds from both houses of Congress. And now there are filibusters over trivial issues, and possibly several running at the same time - blocking only particular bills, not other business. And even though the number of votes required to end a filibuster was reduced from 68 to 60, votes for cloture (to end a filibuster) are much less likely now. Previously, Senators who opposed the legislation in question but didn't make it their single overriding issue would eventually vote for cloture just so they could get onto other business. Now, it seems to take 60 votes to pass anything at all...

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.