Filibuster on Trial.
Filibuster is the soup du jour in current American politics. It appears that Democrats are calling for the abolishment of the filibuster, almost parroting the rhetoric of former president Donald Trump. If you can recall, Trump himself called for this historic institution to be removed after his legislative efforts were being stymied by it.
Back then, as reported by CNN, democrats threw substantial support behind the filibuster in 2017, Chuck Schumer among them. Now that he is no longer the minority leader; however, Schumer has recanted his support for what he once teamed up with Mcconnell to defend. Why would he switch his stance on the filibuster? The answer is obvious; Schumer no longer benefits from this legislative tool.
The Washington Post reported that 30 democrats supported the filibuster when they were in the senatorial minority, but now Mcconnell is only able to scrounge up a scant 2 pledges from Democrats this time around. It seems that the filibuster is only detrimental to democracy when democrats can’t use it.
President Biden has recently addressed the filibuster in his latest press conference. Perhaps due to his own history with the filibuster as Democratic senator, Biden did not follow some of the more radical members of his party and call for outright abolition.
The president has called for a return to the so-called talking filibuster; meaning a senator, or group of senators, would have to continuously talk and hold the floor in order to obstruct legislation.
However, according to Politico, Biden did allude to possible abolition of the arcane legislative tool. “If we have to — if there’s complete lockdown and chaos as a consequence of the filibuster — then we’ll have to go beyond what I’m talking about.”