Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Democratic Party’s second highest-ranking politician in the Senate, said Friday that he is “leaning” toward abolishing the filibuster, a Senate procedure that has increasingly drawn scrutiny from Democrats looking to pass increasingly radical legislation.
“I can tell you that’s where I’m leaning,” Durbin told the “Skullduggery” podcast, according to Yahoo News. “I will tell you, I have been frustrated for a hell of a long time because of this filibuster.”
Durbin, should he ultimately endorse the end of the filibuster, would be joining the ranks of other Democrats who have called for such plans, such as California Senator and Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris (D-CA).
Back when she was running for president, Harris told CNN that she was “prepared to get rid of the filibuster to pass a Green New Deal,” an estimated $93-trillion-dollar wish list that the Competitive Enterprise Institute has summarized as “an overwhelmingly expensive proposal reliant on technologies that have not yet been invented.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Thursday that Democratic lawmakers will strongly consider abolishing the filibuster next year, should former Vice President Joe Biden win the White House, in order to push a Democratic agenda.
According to RollCall, Schumer suggested Senate Democrats would “have a moral imperative to the people of America to get a whole lot done if we get the majority,” and, in the event they do retake the senate, “nothing is off the table.”
“We will do what it takes to get this done. I’m hopeful, maybe if Trump goes and McConnell is no longer leader, some Republicans might work with us. But we’re going to have to get it done, whether they work with us or not,” he said.
Schumer’s suggestion echoes the words of former President Barack Obama, who openly floated the idea of scrapping the filibuster in a speech at the late Congressman John Lewis’ funeral last month.
According to The New York Times, the Senate minority leader “has been informally polling his caucus about what he should do next year, according to Democratic senators who have spoken to him,” although he is reportedly reluctant to do so out of fear its absence could be leveraged against Democrats in the future.
However, Schumer has expressed interest in abolishing the filibuster before, having emphasized this belief to reporters last summer — in much the same way as this year — when he considered the possibility that Democrats could retake the Senate and White House in 2020, reports The Associated Press.
The Democratic minority leader’s openness to the idea solicited criticism from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), considered the most right-leaning Democratic senator, who told AP in 2019 that it would hurt a minority party’s “ability to stop crazy stuff.”
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