Protecting The Legislative Filibuster Is A Bipartisan Priority

For Years, Both Leader McConnell and President Biden Have Argued Against Ending The Legislative Filibuster, Which Biden Recently Called ‘A Very Dangerous Move’


Leader McConnell Has Consistently Defended The Legislative Filibuster In Both The Majority And The Minority


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY), 2019: “A Democratic assault on the legislative filibuster would make the nomination fights look like child’s play. … On legislation… the Senate’s treasured tradition is not efficiency but deliberation. One of the body’s central purposes is making new laws earn broader support than what is required for a bare majority in the House. The legislative filibuster does not appear in the Constitution’s text, but it is central to the order the Constitution sets forth.… The legislative filibuster is directly downstream from our founding tradition. If that tradition frustrates the whims of those on the far left, it is their half-baked proposals and not the centuries-old wisdom that need retooling.” (Sen. McConnell, Op-Ed, “The Filibuster Plays A Crucial Role In Our Constitutional Order,” The New York Times, 8/22/2019)


·         SEN. McCONNELL: “Yes, the Senate’s design makes it difficult for one party to enact sweeping legislation on its own. Yes, the filibuster makes policy less likely to seesaw wildly with every election. These are features, not bugs. Our country doesn’t need a second House of Representatives with fewer members and longer terms. America needs the Senate to be the Senate. … In this country, radical changes face a high bar by design. It is telling that today’s left-wing activists would rather lower that bar than produce ideas that can meet it.” (Sen. McConnell, Op-Ed, “The Filibuster Plays A Crucial Role In Our Constitutional Order,” The New York Times, 8/22/2019)


·         SEN. McCONNELL: “I recognize it may seem odd that a Senate majority leader opposes a proposal to increase his own power…. But my Republican colleagues and I have not and will not vandalize this core tradition for short-term gain. We recognize what everyone should recognize — there are no permanent victories in politics.” (Sen. McConnell, Op-Ed, “The Filibuster Plays A Crucial Role In Our Constitutional Order,” The New York Times, 8/22/2019)


SEN. McCONNELL, 2018: “I don’t think the legislative filibuster, which has been around for a long time, is a problem. And it does, I think, generate on many occasions kind of a bipartisan solution, and I don’t think that’s always bad for the country. We do have some pretty big differences about a number of things, but there are a lot of things we do together.” (“McConnell To Trump: The Filibuster Is Here To Stay,” Politico, 6/27/2018)


QUESTION: “President says it’s time for change, Senator, since the majority…”

SEN. McCONNELL, 2017: “No, it isn’t. There is an overwhelming majority on a bipartisan basis. Not interested in changing the way the Senate operates on the legislative calendar. And, that will not happen.”

QUESTION: “Why not?”

SEN. McCONNELL: “It would fundamentally change the way the Senate has worked for a very long time. We’re not going to do that.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Conference, 5/02/2017)


·         “When asked whether he would commit to not changing the legislative filibuster under his tenure as majority leader, the Kentucky Republican responded: ‘Correct.’” (“McConnell Promises Not To Kill Filibuster For Legislation,” Politico, 4/04/2017)


SEN. McCONNELL, 2012: “[A]t the beginning of this discussion, the Majority Leader [Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)] made it clear that what he said at the beginning of the Congress is no longer operative. It is now his view that the Senate ought to operate like the House–it ought to operate like the House, with a simple majority. I think that is a mistake. I think that would be a mistake if I were the majority leader and he were the minority leader, which could be the case by the end of the year. And now I will probably have to argue to many of my members why we shouldn’t do what the Majority Leader was just recommending about 6 months before. Let’s assume we have a new President and I am the majority leader next time and we are operating at 51. I wonder how comforting that is to my friends on the other side…. The Senate has functioned for quite a number of decades without a simple majority threshold for everything we do. It has a good effect because it brings people together. To do anything in the Senate, you have to have some bipartisan buy-in. My colleagues, do we really want the Senate to become the House? Is that really in the best interests of our country? Do we want a simple majority of 51 to ramrod the minority on every issue?” (Sen. McConnell, Congressional Record, S.5095, 7/18/2012)


SEN. McCONNELL, 2011: “When it comes to preserving the right to extended debate on legislation, Republicans have been entirely consistent…. [A] change in the rules aimed at benefitting the Democrats today could just as easily be used to benefit Republicans tomorrow. Do our friends across the aisle want to create a situation where 2 or 4 or 6 years from now they suddenly find themselves completely powerless to prevent Republicans from overturning legislation they themselves have worked so hard to enact, particularly over the last 2 years? … Changing the rules in the way that has been proposed would unalterably change the Senate itself. It will no longer be the place where the whole country is heard and has the ability to have its say, a place that encourages consensus and broad agreement.” (Sen. McConnell, Congressional Record, S.17, 1/05/2011)


Joe Biden Previously Warned: ‘Ending The Filibuster Is A Very Dangerous Move,’ ‘Getting Rid Of The Filibuster Has Long-Term Consequences,’ And It Would Be ‘A Fundamental Power Grab By The Majority Party’


JOE BIDEN: “Ending the filibuster is a very dangerous move.” (Bloomberg Business’ Emma Kinery, @EmmaKinery, Twitter, 8/08/2019)


·         THE NEW YORK TIMES’ JESSE WEGMAN: “Speaking of those other candidates, several of them have proposed major structural reforms to our government and to our democracy. These include abolishing the Electoral College, expanding the size of the Supreme Court, setting term limits for justices, abolishing the legislative filibuster. Which, if any of these, do you support?”

BIDEN: “None.” (Interview with The New York Times Editorial Board, 1/17/2020)


WEGMAN: “And you think with a legislative filibuster in place, even if you control the Senate, that you’re going to move any of your agenda?”

BIDEN: “Yes.”

WEGMAN: “How?”

BIDEN: “Because there’s a lot of things people agree on, though you don’t — there’s two things. One is that there are a number of areas where you can reach consensus that relate to things like cancer and health care and a whole range of things. I think we can reach consensus on that and get it passed without changing the filibuster rule. There are other areas where if you were to change the rule, first of all, if you couldn’t get it changed, if you can’t get 60 votes, the fact that you’re going to amend the Constitution on judicial independence is kind of a stretch. And what I love hearing my colleagues say that I’m running with, saying, ‘Well, I’m going to by executive order.’ And my mother would say, ‘Who died and left them boss?’ We have three branches of government, equal.”

WEGMAN: “Agreed. That’s why I’m wondering how you’re planning to do this with — you had a front-row seat to Republican opposition in the Obama administration.”

BIDEN: “Yeah. We still got a lot of things done. Well, I’ll tell you what. I was able to get every Democrat to vote on the floor to make sure we passed Obamacare.” (Interview with The New York Times Editorial Board, 1/17/2020)


“For Joseph Biden, the Delaware Democrat and a senator since 1973, the Senate remains a place where ‘you can always slow things down and make sure that a minority gets a voice,’ he said recently. And, he added, ‘the chance to filibuster’—using extended debate in order to block legislation—’is what makes the difference between this body and the other one.’” (Jeffrey Toobin, “Blowing Up The Senate,” The New Yorker, 2/28/2005)


·         THEN-SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE): “We should make no mistake. This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party, propelled by its extreme right and designed to change the reading of the Constitution, particularly as it relates to individual rights and property rights. It is nothing more or nothing less….” (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S.5735, 5/23/2005)


For Over A Year, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Has Repeatedly Vowed, ‘I Would Not Vote To Eliminate The Filibuster,’ ‘I Will Vote Against That. I Have Been Very Clear About That,’ ‘When You Break The Filibuster, You Break The Senate, And I’m Not Going To Be Part Of Breaking The Senate’


MANCHIN: ‘Under No Circumstances Would I Support Packing The Court Or Ending The Filibuster If There Is A 50-50 Tie’


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “I’ve always been there [on preserving the filibuster]. That’s been my position from day one.” (“Manchin, Tester Vow They’ll Never Nuke The Legislative Filibuster,” National Review, 11/06/2019)


·         “Are there any circumstances where Manchin could see himself voting to eliminate the 60-vote requirement for legislation? ‘Never,’ Manchin replied. ‘Nope, I’m sitting in Bob Byrd’s seat. Just read his history.’” (“Manchin, Tester Vow They’ll Never Nuke The Legislative Filibuster,” National Review, 11/06/2019)


SEN. MANCHIN: “I have never supported a repeal of the filibuster and I don’t support one now. I am willing to consider solutions that promote collaboration so the Senate is able to be a productive body again. But repealing the filibuster would result in even more partisanship.” (Sen. Manchin, @Sen_JoeManchin, Twitter, 6/30/2020)


“The West Virginia Democrat told CNN that he would oppose his party’s effort to get rid of the filibuster, a stall tactic frequently used by the Senate’s minority party and that requires 60 votes in the chamber to overcome. ‘That’s bullshit,’ Manchin said this week when asked about the Democratic push to eliminate the filibuster. He noted that he opposed the Democratic effort in 2013 to eliminate the filibuster on most presidential nominees. ‘And I would be opposed to it again.’ ‘The whole intention of Congress is basically to have a little bit of compromise with the other side,’ Manchin said. ‘Our job is to find common and cooling ground, if you will, to make something work that makes sense.’” (“Manchin Calls ‘Bulls—’ On Democrats’ Push To Eliminate Senate Filibuster,” CNN, 7/22/2020)


SEN. MANCHIN: “No, I would not vote to eliminate the filibuster…. That’s not what the Senate is about.” (“Senate Democrats Lukewarm On Killing The Filibuster Even If They Win The Majority Riding A Biden Wave,” Business Insider, 8/07/2020)


·         “Killing the rule, Manchin added, would reduce the upper chamber to a ‘glorified’ version of the majority-rules House of Representatives.” (“Senate Democrats Lukewarm On Killing The Filibuster Even If They Win The Majority Riding A Biden Wave,” Business Insider, 8/07/2020)


SEN. MANCHIN: “No, I do not support getting rid of the filibuster. And Chuck Schumer knows that. We have had conversations about that. I intend to work any way and — any way possible that I can to make sure that we’re able to move forward in a bipartisan way. … But to get rid of the filibuster means you are giving up on the Senate and the founding fathers of Jefferson and Washington, who said the Senate should be like a saucer to cool off the hot tea.” (Fox News, 8/21/2020)


SEN. MANCHIN: “The whole premise of this Senate and this democracy experiment of ours is just certain decency and social order that basically has been expected from us, and especially from the Senate, from the beginning of our government. Now, all of a sudden, they’re going to say, oh, you don’t have to talk anymore. You just have to have 51 votes, and forget about the minority. Well, the minority has always played an important part in the Senate’s proceedings, because it was supposed to basically take our consideration. If you’re in the minority, you still have input, you’re still representing, and you’re still being deliberative enough to bring common sense together, to make sure that we have looked at every angle we can for American justice. So, I am saying that any of that type of talk — there needs to be a cooling-off period.” (CNN’s “State of the Union,” 9/27/2020)


FOX NEWS’ BRET BAIER: “Let me just clarify here, Senator. You are saying, definitively tonight, that, even if Democrats take control, and Chuck Schumer becomes the Senate majority leader, that, they try to break the filibuster, say the filibuster is over, you will definitively vote against that?”

SEN. MANCHIN: “Absolutely. I will vote against that. I have been very clear about that…. I’m the only Democrat senator that has voted against … the nuclear option, that Harry Reid did in 2013.” (Fox News’ “Special Report w/ Bret Baier,” 11/09/2020)


·         SEN. MANCHIN: “I commit to you tonight, and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that’s watching. I want to allay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now because when they talk about whether it be packing the courts, or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that…. I will not vote to pack the courts … and I will not vote to end the filibuster.” (“Joe Manchin Kills Dreams Of Expanding Supreme Court, Eliminating The Filibuster,” Roll Call, 11/09/2020)


·         SEN. MANCHIN: “I will not vote to end the filibuster. Bret, this system, the Senate, this so unique body in the world, it was made to work together in a bipartisan way. And once you start breaking down those barriers, then you lose every reason that we are the institution that we are, the most deliberative body. So, I want to lay those fears to rest, that that won’t happen, because I will not be the 50th Democrat voting to end that filibuster or to basically stack the court.” (Fox News’ “Special Report w/ Bret Baier,” 11/09/2020)


·         SEN. MANCHIN: “I thought we should be working together. It should take a minimum of 60. And that means you are going to have to have a few Democrats or Republicans, depending on who’s in the majority, to work together. That’s what we are all about. Why would you break that down?” (Fox News’ “Special Report w/ Bret Baier,” 11/09/2020)


·         “Pressed if he was saying definitively that if Democratic leadership tried to use the nuclear option to nix the filibuster if he would vote against that, Manchin replied, ‘Absolutely. I will vote against that.’” (“Manchin Shoots Down Chance That Senate Democrats Nix Filibuster, Expand Court,” The Hill, 11/09/2020)


SEN. MANCHIN: “Let me be clear: I will not vote to pack the courts & I will not vote to end the filibuster. The U.S. Senate is the most deliberative body in the world. It was made so that we work together in a bipartisan way. If you get rid of the filibuster, there’s no reason to have a Senate.” (Sen. Manchin, @Sen_JoeManchin, Twitter, 11/09/2020)


SEN. MANCHIN: “Under no circumstances would I support packing the court or ending the filibuster if there is a 50-50 tie… I really think that when you break the filibuster, you break the Senate, and I’m not going to be part of breaking the Senate, I can tell you that… The Senate is a pretty special place because the Founding Fathers intended it to be that way. But they also intended us to work in a bipartisan way and to where the minority always had input. You break the rules of the filibuster, the minority has nothing. There’s no purpose whatsoever. You’re no different than a glorified House.” (“Joe Manchin Digs In: ‘Under No Circumstances’ Would Break Tie To Nuke Filibuster And Pack Court,” Washington Examiner, 11/11/2020)


CNN’s JOHN BERMAN: “Ending the filibuster.”

SEN. MANCHIN: “Yes, we’re not going to — I’m not going to vote for that. So I’m trying to lay — lay to rest the fears that people are using now and scare tactics in Georgia. You’ve got candidates running in Georgia, two Democrat candidates, who are truly qualified and, one, they understand Georgia and they want to work with it and you’ve got two Republican senators that are, you know, going for re-election. With that being said, don’t throw this fear tactic in that if you vote for the Democrats, we’re going to throw this into chaos and it’s going to be a socialist type of administration within Congress. That’s not going to happen because the simple truth is it will be a 50/50 tie. And 50/50 tie means that the vice president would vote to break the tie and it would lean towards the Democrats, but there has to be a tie. So I’m not voting for the things you’ve talked about. I’m not voting for — for basically breaking the filibuster because that means that we’ve given up on the Senate that’s supposed to work in a bipartisan way.” (CNN, 11/10/2020)


·         SEN. MANCHIN: “I’m not voting for the things you’ve talked about. I’m not voting for basically breaking the filibuster because that means that we’ve given up on the Senate that’s supposed to work in a bipartisan way. I would never do that.” (CNN, 11/10/2020)


SEN. MANCHIN: “I think we need a change to where we can set the agenda. Give us a chance to put and it didn’t work before. I think to Chuck Schumer can work with Mitch McConnell. I believe with my heart and soul. I’ve taken off the table, forget about packing the courts, forget about the filibuster, and forget about blowing things up. They’ve been using that as a scare tactic.” (Fox News, 11/10/2020)


QUESTION: “The Democratic Party thought it could take back the Senate this year, and there’s still a chance that maybe that can happen if you get both of the seats in Georgia. But in order to pass major legislation, you would have to either get some Republican support or kill the filibuster. You’ve long opposed killing the filibuster. Why is that?”

SEN. MANCHIN: “I can assure you I will not vote to end the filibuster, because that would break the Senate. We’ve harmed the Senate enough with the nuclear option on the judges. We’re making lifetime appointments based on a simple majority. The minority should have input — that’s the whole purpose for the Senate. If you basically do away with the filibuster altogether for legislation, you won’t have the Senate. You’re a glorified House. And I will not do that.” (“‘We’ve Harmed the Senate Enough’: Why Joe Manchin Won’t Budge on the Filibuster,” The New York Times, 11/30/2020)


  • QUESTION: “So there’s no issue where you would agree to end the filibuster? Let’s say there’s a badly needed new coronavirus stimulus package, and the Republicans won’t make a deal.”

SEN. MANCHIN: “No. If we can’t come together to help America, God help us. If you’ve got to blow up the Senate to do the right thing, then we’ve got the wrong people in the Senate, or we have people that won’t talk to each other. You know, I’ve always said this: Chuck Schumer, with his personality, he’ll talk to anybody and everybody. You can work with Chuck. Chuck is going to try everything he can do to try to engage with Mitch again.” (“‘We’ve Harmed the Senate Enough’: Why Joe Manchin Won’t Budge on the Filibuster,” The New York Times, 11/30/2020)


CNN’s JAKE TAPPER: “Eliminating the legislative filibuster, yes or no?”
SEN. MANCHIN: “Oh, Jake, I’m basically for making this place work together. I’m — I want to make it work. So, I would be no on that.”
TAPPER: “So, that’s a no.”
 (CNN’s “State of the Union,” 1/10/2021)


FOX NEWS’ BRET BAIER: “I talked to you back November [2020]. And we were forecasting about these Georgia run-offs. It was an uphill battle for Democrats, they thought, to win both. They did, and now technically have control of this — the chamber in the new Congress, although it’s tenuous. Here’s what you told me about the filibuster back then.”

SEN. MANCHIN [Nov. 2020]: “I will not be the 50th Democrat voting to end that filibuster or to basically block — stack the court….”

BAIER: “All right, Senator, are you in the same spot today as you were back then?”

SEN. MANCHIN: “It’s all true, Bret. It’s all the same. Nothing’s changed. Here’s the thing, Bret. My job right now, being in a position I am, always being in the middle, is basically, I’m going to do everything in my power to bring this country together, to heal the country, and to work in a bipartisan fashion, which is the reason that we have the Senate. I’m going to do the job I have always done. I’m going to continue to try, working with the minority and the majority. And now that we’re split, we need to bring this country together….”

BAIER: “[I]f the pressure is on from Chuck Schumer to get you to break the filibuster, to change the rules, what are you going to tell him?”

SEN. MANCHIN: “I would say, Chuck, have you sat down and tried to work with Mitch? And, Mitch, would you sit down with Chuck? Can you all try to work this out? Can we find some compromise to where we can get 60 or 65 of us voting for the same thing?” (Fox News’ “Special Report w/ Bret Baier,” 1/11/2021)


Several Other Senate Democrats Also Pledged They Would Never Eliminate The Legislative Filibuster: ‘They Will Not Get My Vote,’ ‘I Am A No,’ ‘I Will Personally Resist Efforts To Get Rid Of It’


SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-AZ): “They will not get my vote on [nuking the filibuster]… In fact, whether I’m in the majority or the minority I would always vote to reinstate the protections for the minority. … It is the right thing for the country.” (“The New Democratic Senator Irritating The Left And Delighting The GOP,” Politico, 10/29/2019)


·         SEN. SINEMA: “I’ve spoken about this many times before — and I do not believe we should take away the filibuster.” (“Manchin Calls ‘Bulls—’ On Democrats’ Push To Eliminate Senate Filibuster,” CNN, 7/22/2020)


SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): “I don’t want to see the Senate become the House.” (“Manchin, Tester Vow They’ll Never Nuke The Legislative Filibuster,” National Review, 11/06/2019)


·         “Asked if he could imagine any circumstances where he would change his mind about the filibuster, Tester says: ‘Nope.’” (“Manchin, Tester Vow They’ll Never Nuke The Legislative Filibuster,” National Review, 11/06/2019)


·         “Sen. Jon Tester of Montana said ‘I am a no’ on changing the filibuster, saying: ‘The move to make the Senate like the House, I think it’s a mistake.’” (“Manchin Calls ‘Bulls—’ On Democrats’ Push To Eliminate Senate Filibuster,” CNN, 7/22/2020)


·         SEN. TESTER: “I just think that it’s an opportunity to bring people together and you can talk to anybody in this place, bipartisan legislation tends to stand the test of time, and so hopefully we continue to work together and have it be encouraged by the filibuster.” (“Senate Democrats Leery Of Nixing Filibuster,” The Hill, 1/16/2021)


SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): “I know it can be frustrating, but I think legislation is better when it has some bipartisan support.” (“Senate Democrats Look to Wound Filibuster but Not Kill It,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/1/2020)


·         “Angus King, who caucuses with Dems, told me that he is ‘100%’ opposed to killing filibuster.” (CNN’s Manu Raju, @mkraju, Twitter, 7/30/2020)


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): “My colleagues and I, everybody I’ve talked to, believe the legislative filibuster should stay there, and I will personally resist efforts to get rid of it.” (ABC News, @ABC, Twitter, 2/01/2019)


SEN. JACKY ROSEN (D-NV): “I think we should keep the filibuster. It’s one of the few things that we have left in order to let all of the voices be heard here in the Senate…” (“Manchin, Tester Vow They’ll Never Nuke The Legislative Filibuster,” National Review, 11/6/2019)


·         SEN. ROSEN: “What you might think today would be in your favor, might not be in your favor tomorrow.” (“If Progressives Want To Nuke The Filibuster, They’re Going To Have To Convince A Bunch Of Democrats First,” Huffington Post, 2/06/2019)


SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): “I’m a yes [on keeping the legislative filibuster]” (“Manchin, Tester Vow They’ll Never Nuke The Legislative Filibuster,” National Review, 11/6/2019)


The Most Senior Democratic Senators: ‘I Think The Filibuster Serves A Purpose,’ ‘It’s A Part Of Senate Tradition, Which Creates A Sobering Effect On The Body, Which Is Healthy’


AP’s ANDREW TAYLOR: “And so some of them are suggesting that the Senate should get rid of the legislative filibuster. What’s your view of that?”

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT): “No, I think that — I agree with Thomas Jefferson [who] said, you know, it’s the saucer where things cool. What I want to do though is see us come back to voting on things. Everybody’s afraid to vote on anything. I voted over 16,000 times. Of the 2,000 senators in the history of this country, there’s only two or three that have voted more than I have. I guarantee you that if somebody wants to use some of those votes against me, go back through 16,000, and say ‘man what a mistake he made on that.’ So what? I was elected to vote. I took an oath to uphold the Constitution. We have to get back to real debates and real votes. The most things that pass, have been pretty overwhelming, as Senator Shelby and I have shown with appropriations. We’ve got them through with bigger margins than they have for years. And what I hear over and over again from senators is not the question of the filibuster, but why don’t we have votes on anything. I’d like to vote things up or vote them down.” (C-SPAN’s Newsmakers, 11/8/2019)


SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): “I think it’s a part of Senate tradition, which creates a sobering effect on the body, which is healthy.” (“Senate Democrats Lukewarm On Killing The Filibuster Even If They Win The Majority Riding A Biden Wave,” Business Insider, 8/07/2020)


·         “Sen. Dianne Feinstein also cannot be counted on by those wishing to get rid of the rule. The California Democrat who ranks as the fifth longest-serving senator in a chamber that prides itself on precedent told [Business] Insider the filibuster gives all of the country’s voters an important say in whether any legislation is passed.” (“Senate Democrats Lukewarm On Killing The Filibuster Even If They Win The Majority Riding A Biden Wave,” Business Insider, 8/07/2020)


·         SEN. FEINSTEIN: “I don’t believe in doing that. I think the filibuster serves a purpose. It is not often used, it’s often less used now than when I first came, and I think it’s part of the Senate that differentiates itself.” (NBC’s Sahil Kapur, @sahilkapur, Twitter, 9/21/2020)


Senate Democrats: ‘I Think The Consequences Of Getting Rid Of It Are Too Great,’ ‘There Was A Lot Of Interest In Getting Rid Of The Filibuster For Judges And For The Supreme Court, And That Has Not Served Us Well’


SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH): “I would remind people there was a lot of interest in getting rid of the filibuster for judges and for the Supreme Court, and that has not served us well.” (“If Progressives Want To Nuke The Filibuster, They’re Going To Have To Convince A Bunch Of Democrats First,” Huffington Post, 2/06/2019)


SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “If last year we did not have the filibuster, the Trump administration and the GOP majority could have rammed through an incredible range of laws that those same progressive groups would find incredibly destructive to the nation. So while I understand the frustration … I think the consequences of getting rid of it are too great.” (“If Progressives Want To Nuke The Filibuster, They’re Going To Have To Convince A Bunch Of Democrats First,” Huffington Post, 2/06/2019)


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): “No, I’m not crazy about getting rid of the filibuster.” (“Bernie Sanders Says He’s ‘Not Crazy About Getting Rid Of The Filibuster,’” Huffington Post, 2/19/2019)


SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): “I’m not particularly in favor of getting rid of the filibuster because that just means majority rule. That’s what happens in the House.” (“Dems Open To Killing Filibuster In Next Congress,” The Hill, 7/18/2019)


SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): “I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I would be reluctant… I think the filibuster has some value in the institution, and I frankly think it … helps protect against an overreaching executive.” (“Dems Open To Killing Filibuster In Next Congress,” The Hill, 7/18/2019)


SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): “I said during my rehiring process last year, I said it would take an awful, awful lot for me to end the filibuster. I don’t think that we ought to be coming in willy-nilly and changing the rules. … I think we ought to keep the rules.” (CNBC, 1/20/2021)


·         “… Mark Warner says he’s in favor of keeping the filibuster ‘at this point,’ but he also ‘understand[s] the frustrations’ of opponents.” (“Manchin, Tester Vow They’ll Never Nuke The Legislative Filibuster,” National Review, 11/6/2019)


SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-IL): “Well, I think that, you know, that’s a conversation that we have been having in the Senate, both among Democrats and Republicans. I know in the Democratic caucus we’ve had many conversations about it. I don’t know how we return to where things were before both Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell decided to do the various versions of the nuclear option. I do think that it is pretty harmful when certain laws pass with a simple majority, because then folks in the minority don’t have their voice. And our system is set up so that those in a minority should have a voice. But the question then is, should those folks have the ultimate blockage to keep the majority from moving forward? So I don’t know where we are on that yet. I think we continue to have those conversations. I would hope that we could get to a 60-vote margin in the Senate, but I’ve only been in the Senate since the nuclear option had been invoked by both sides.” (“A Conversation With Tammy Duckworth,” The New York Times, 7/16/2020)


SEN. MARTIN HEINRICH (D-NM): “Some of us have to think about governing. … In terms of nuts and bolts, in terms of making this place work better, I don’t think that talk is helpful.” (“If Progressives Want To Nuke The Filibuster, They’re Going To Have To Convince A Bunch Of Democrats First,” Huffington Post, 2/06/2019)


In 2017, 61 Senators, Including 33 Democrats, Urged Senate Leaders To Preserve The Legislative Filibuster


“A bipartisan group of 61 senators sent a letter to Senate leaders Friday urging them to maintain the 60-vote threshold for filibusters involving legislation, which they said is needed to ensure bipartisanship remains a component of passing bills through the chamber…. Many senators are concerned that getting rid of the 60-vote filibuster for legislation would make it so whichever party is in the majority could ram bills through and diminish the Senate’s traditional role of slowing down legislation and finding bipartisan solutions.” (“61 Senators Sign Letter To Preserve Filibuster Rules,” CNN, 4/09/2017)


·         “The signatures of 28 Republicans, 32 Democrats and one independent is evidence that a broad mix of senators will back the filibuster for legislation.” (“61 Senators Sign Letter To Preserve Filibuster Rules,” CNN, 4/09/2017)


·         “Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins and Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons organized Friday’s bipartisan letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) as a way to move past the bitter partisan debate on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed earlier Friday.” (“Bipartisan Pitch To Save Filibuster Gets 61 Senators’ Endorsement,” Politico, 4/07/2017)


‘We Are United In Our Determination To Preserve The Ability Of Members To Engage In Extended Debate When Bills Are On The Senate Floor’


61 SENATORS: “We are writing to urge you to support our efforts to preserve existing rules, practices, and traditions as they pertain to the right of Members to engage in extended debate on legislation before the United States Senate. Senators have expressed a variety of opinions about the appropriateness of limiting debate when we are considering judicial and executive branch nominations. Regardless of our past disagreements on that issue, we are united in our determination to preserve the ability of Members to engage in extended debate when bills are on the Senate floor.” (61 Senators, Letter to Sens. McConnell and Schumer, 4/07/2017)


·         Among the letter signers are:


Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Sen. Angus King (I-ME)

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI)

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE)

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

(Sen. Collins, Press Release, 4/07/2017)