Democrats on the Filibuster


President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Ga., January 11, 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

“The nuclear option extinguishes the power of independents and moderates in the Senate. That’s it, they’re done. Moderates are important if you need to get to 60 votes to satisfy cloture; they are much less so if you only need 50 votes. Let’s set the historical record straight. Never has the Senate provided for a certainty that 51 votes could put someone on the bench or pass legislation.” — Joe Biden

“60 votes easier to get than 51. Ignoring the other party creates rushed garbage legislation. When you do 60, it’s a compromise.” — Brian Schatz

“If you don’t have 60 votes yet, it just means you haven’t done enough advocacy, and you need to work a lot harder.” — Kirsten Gillibrand

“I think we should have the filibuster in place. You have to have a consensus. I would’ve liked to see 60 votes. I don’t think we should’ve made that change.” — Amy Klobuchar

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“I rise today to urge my colleagues to think about the implications the nuclear option would have on this chamber and this country. I urge you to think not just about winning every debate, but about protecting free and democratic debate.” —Barack Obama

“[Ending the filibuster] would be the end of the Senate as it was originally devised and created going back to our Founding Fathers.” — Dick Durbin

“The ideologues in the Senate want to turn what the Founding Fathers called ‘the cooling saucer of democracy’ into the rubber stamp of dictatorship. We will not let them. They want to make this country into a banana republic, where if you don’t get your way, you change the rules. Are we going to let them? It’ll be a doomsday for democracy if we do.” — Chuck Schumer

“[W]e are united in our determination to preserve the ability of Members to engage in extended debate when bills are on the Senate floor.”— among others, Patrick Leahy, Angus King, Mark Warner, Michael Bennet, Amy Klobuchar, Bob Casey, Martin Heinrich, Jeanne Shaheen, Sherrod Brown, Dianne Feinstein, Kristen Gillibrand, Brian Schatz, Cory Booker, Maria Cantwell, Mazie Hirono, Joe Donnelly, Jon Tester, Kamala Harris, Maggie Hassan, Tammy Duckworth, Tim Kaine, Jack Reed, Ed Markey, Debbie Stabenow, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Bob Menendez.

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