Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the second-most-powerful Democratic senator, called for filibuster reform “for the good of this country,” a drastic change from his stance on the filibuster when Democrats were in the minority.
The Hill posted a video on Twitter of Durbin discussing the filibuster and calling for reform.
“It has to be done for the good of this country,” Durbin said, adding that it could be done if all Democrats and maybe even some Republicans agree to reforms.
“Under the current Republican leadership, we’ve seen more filibusters, more obstruction ever in the history of the Senate. Nothing even close to it,” Durbin continued.
This is flat out false. Democrats have controlled the Senate since January 2021 – less than a year – and have faced nowhere near the number of filibusters that President Donald Trump and Republicans faced last year.
As The Daily Wire reported in March, President Joe Biden decried how the filibuster had been “abused” 250 times last year. Last year, of course, was 2020; Trump was president and Republicans controlled the Senate, meaning it was Democrats who “abused” the filibuster, according to Biden.
Politico reported at the time that the Senate engaged in “record-breaking” gridlock under Trump. During Trump’s four years in office, Democrats put forth 314 cloture votes to block Trump’s agenda and nominees. In former President Barack Obama’s eight years in office (six of which saw Republicans as the minority party in the Senate), he faced just 175 cloture votes.
In the video posted Wednesday, Durbin said, “If we don’t change the rules to go back to a Senate that truly debates and legislates and responds to the needs of America, then it’s going to be a great misfortune for this country.”
Sen. Durbin on filibuster reform: “It has to be done for the good of this country. […] If we don’t change the rules to go back to a Senate that truly debates and legislates and responds to the needs of America, then it’s going to be a great misfortune for this country.” pic.twitter.com/xIDL6kIPbA
— The Hill (@thehill) December 29, 2021
Durbin in March, just two months after Democrats took control of the Senate, started arguing for filibuster reform, which for those advocating for it, means doing away with the minority party’s ability to block legislation and force the Senate to actually compromise and come up with a solution that would actually gain at least some bipartisan support.
“The filibuster is still making a mockery of American democracy. The filibuster is still being misused by some senators to block legislation urgently needed and supported by a strong majority of the American people,” Durbin said during a floor speech in March.
Of course, in 2018, when Durbin and Democrats were the minority party, the number two Democrat fiercely defended the filibuster.
“That would be the end of the Senate as it was originally devised and created going back to our founding fathers. We have to acknowledge our respect for the minority, and that is what the Senate tries to do in its composition and in its procedure,” Durbin said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”
“Let’s get this done on a bipartisan basis,” he said at the time. “We’ve produced a bipartisan approach to many of these issues. If the president and the leaders in Congress will sit down with us, we can resolve this quickly.”