Report: Schumer, Senate Democrats Plan to Ratchet Up Pressure to End Filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) hold a press conference following the Senate policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on March 23, 2021. - Schumer announced he would bring gun legislation to the floor, starting with universal background checks. This month the House of Representatives passed two measures …
ERIN SCOTT/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and his Senate allies are strategizing how to cancel the filibuster, making good on their partisan promise to “change the world” by enacting legislation that would diminish gun ownership, legal immigration, voter ID laws, and free-market capitalism.

Multiple Democrat caucus members have commented on such a scheme without much concern for what President Joe Biden proclaimed in his inaugural speech: “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.”

When Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) was asked how pending legislation might segue pressure into ending the filibuster, he said, “If Dems are all fine, then we’ll bring them up on the floor and see if we can get Republican support. I think that’s probably the next step.”

Majority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) clarified the party’s position on future scenarios. “What I’m saying to those who defend the filibuster is show me that the Senate can operate with a filibuster and still do things that make us a better nation. They have to test that on the floor,” Durbin told reporters.

Schumer supported his Whip’s tactics. “We’ll put things on the floor. Because there are a number of my colleagues that say let’s give them a chance,” he said.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) also seem to have fallen in line. “If the filibuster is the only thing that stops a wildly popular proposal from becoming law, then it’s certainly, it should be part of the conversation as to why the rules need to change,” Murphy said. Hollen added, “It will generate more momentum for reforming the filibuster.”

Even Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), one of Biden’s top Senate allies from Delaware, Biden’s home state, shared his thoughts on the gambit. “I’m … very concerned about what’s happening in states around the country,” he said. “So I’m weighing what these different proposals are.”

Senate Republicans seem to believe Democrats are serious. Wednesday morning, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) booked a 9:00 a.m. interview to draw attention to the Democrat’s formula, calling the filibuster the “essence of the Senate” and noting the Democrats have misread the 2020 election results as a mandate to “change the world.”

For Biden’s part, he is playing his hand without speaking with McConnell since inauguration day, only noting publicly on March 16 in an interview with George Stephanopoulos he supports the “talking filibuster.”

“That’s what it was supposed to be. It’s getting to the point where, you know, democracy is having a hard time functioning,” Biden said.


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