Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she was for ditching the filibuster rule in the U.S. Senate because once enacted, “popular” Democratic legislation passed on a simple majority can not be repealed by Republicans.
Anchor Chuck Todd said, “Obviously, a lot of this depends on the Senate Democrats holding together. I know where you stand on the filibuster. I am curious of what you thought of Senator Sinema’s op-ed where she made this defense in keeping the filibuster. She wrote, ‘Would it be good for our country if we did this, getting rid of the filibuster only to see that legislation rescinded a few years from now and replaced by a nationwide voter ID law or restrictions on mail-in voting over the objections of the minority.’ Look, the argument she’s making is, let’s say, get rid of the filibuster and get all of these progressive changes that you would like to see, and the roles are reversed, and everything gets rolled back. Is that good enough defense to use for the filibuster?”
Ocasio-Cortez said, “No, it is essentially an argument of saying, well, why do anything at all, but in case something in our future may have changed it.”
She continued, “Here is the thing, Democratic legislation once enacted is popular. Republicans have tried to gut Social Security. They tried to reverse the ACA. They tried to claw back on legislation that has passed by simple majority in the Senate. They have not been able to because Democratic policies are popular. Once they are enacted, they are politically difficult to undo.”
Ocasio-Cortez added, “So I do not believe in the defeatism of saying we’ll lose the future. This will automatically mean that anything we do now is going to be reversed, so we’ll not do anything now. Our job is to legislate. Our job is to help people. Our job is to do as much as we can. Even if that’s the case, wouldn’t it be better for people’s health care and voting rights for three years instead of zero years? Even you can see the point that I don’t think it is true in the first place.”
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