Appearing Wednesday on NBC’s Late Night with host Seth Meyers, former President Bill Clinton argued that suspending the Senate filibuster would be an act of “preserving democracy” in the United States.
A transcript is as follows:
SETH MEYERS: It does seem to be the discussion du jour in American politics is: what would you do about the filibuster if it was up to you?
BILL CLINTON: The filibuster was set up to ensure for a long debate, it was used in the civil rights era to try to kill civil rights bills and starting in about 1993 or 94, it started to be used all the time. And it was used on President Obama. It’s being used to try to prevent a repeat of 2020, when we had enormous voter participation. So all the states that are in the hands of people that don’t like that and want to maintain a racial income differential are trying to make it harder to vote. I understand the president’s reluctance to get rid of it all together and I sympathize with Joe Manchin, who is trying to stand up for the right thing and represent people who voted two-to-one for President Trump.
But I think when it comes to preserving democracy, you know I would suspend the filibuster because I think it’s essential. I don’t think that we should be in the business of going backwards in trying to drive down voting rights. I think we need to expand it. And I think that every time we’ve done it before it’s made us a better country, it’s made us a stronger country. And it would do both parties good to have to get out and compete for these new voters.