Dianne Feinstein Backs Nuclear Option

Ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, makes an opening statement during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled "Examining Best Practices for Incarceration and Detention During COVID-19," in the Dirksen Building in Washington, DC on June 2, 2020. (Photo by Tom Williams / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOM WILLIAMS/POOL/AFP via …
TOM WILLIAMS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released a statement Friday night showing her flip-flopping on her original opposition to eliminating the filibuster, now saying she is supportive of using the nuclear option to end it.

Feinstein stated, “There are many significant issues Congress needs to address,” including the “gun violence, violence against women and hate in the tragic shootings in Atlanta.”

Feinstein continued to mention she has tried for multiple years to pass “key legislation” on “background checks for gun purchases” and the “reauthorization of the Violence Against Woman Act.”

“Ideally the Senate can reach bipartisan agreement on those issues, as well as on a voting rights bill,” she wrote in a press release. “But if that proves impossible and Republicans continue to abuse the filibuster by requiring cloture votes, I’m open to changing the way the Senate filibuster rules are used.”

Feinstein pointed out President Joe Biden’s shift this week by endorsing a “talking filibuster,” writing that it is “worth discussing.” The California Democrat does not want to dismiss the years of “Senate tradition.” Still, she believes “one party should be able to prevent votes on important bills by abusing the filibuster”:

In January, Feinstein responded to someone who contacted her office to ask about “reforming filibuster rules.”

Feinstein’s office wrote in response:

Thank you for writing to express your support for reforming filibuster rules in the Senate. I appreciate hearing from you, and welcome the opportunity to respond.

I recognize that you would prefer that the Senate pass legislation using a simple majority vote threshold. You may be interested to know in order to end use of the legislative filibuster, the Senate would have to vote to change the rules and Senate procedure.

Respectfully, we may have to disagree on this issue. I believe the filibuster remains a useful tool for Senators, and has historically been used to protect the rights of the minority party. However, please know that I share your belief that Democrats and Republicans must work together to advance our national interests, and I believe I have been determined to encourage respectful political discourse between both parties. There is much to be accomplished in the years ahead, and elected leaders must help bring the parties together to solve the serious problems that confront our nation.

Last week, Breitbart News reported, after the House passed the Democrat gun control bill, the California senator introduced legislation in the Senate called the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2021,” cosponsored by 34 Senate Democrats. The legislation would ban 205 “assault weapons” and ammunition magazines holding more than ten rounds.

Feinstein’s ban would allow current owners of the “assault weapon” to retain possession of it, but before the gun is transferred, a person must undergo an FBI background check.

Feinstein announced, “It’s been 17 years since the original Assault Weapons Ban expired, and the plague of gun violence continues to grow in this country.”

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