(TargetLiberty.org) – You’ve probably been hearing a lot of chatter about the filibuster rule lately. With the Senate gridlocked at 50/50, Democrats, including Joe Biden, are talking about changing it. So, what is the filibuster, and why is it important?
The filibuster is a long-standing Senate custom that effectively requires a supermajority of at least 60 votes to advance a bill. In theory, it serves as a mechanism to force both parties to work together to pass major bills.
In practice, it gives the minority party some influence over significant legislative efforts. For example, Democrats have used the legislative filibuster to block Republican efforts to restrict the public’s access to abortion services and block funding for Donald Trump’s border wall.
Joe Biden came out in favor of changing the filibuster rule during a March 16 interview with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos. Biden’s interview took place amid a flurry talks by legislators on both sides of the aisle.
Political Leaders Weigh in on the Filibuster
On the day the interview aired, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a stern warning to Democrats from the Senate floor about ending the filibuster rule. According to him, altering or eliminating the 60-vote threshold would lead to a “100-car pile up” in the Senate.
He also pointed out that majority control of the Senate is always changing. Were the Democrats to alter the filibuster, Republicans would use the rule change to defund Planned Parenthood and take other actions unpopular with Liberals.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and other Democrats have pushed for ending the filibuster, claiming it “throws [the] system out of balance,” leading to “gridlock.” However, other Democrats like Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) recently said they would not vote to end the rule.
As McConnell and others noted, changing or eliminating the filibuster at this point would only serve the interests of Democrats and their efforts to force their leftist agenda on the nation. Moving forward, the best plan of action is for both parties to find a way to compromise.
Copyright 2021, TargetLiberty.org