Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that ending the filibuster is “on the table.” Such a move would unleash partisanship, usher in extreme policies, and have a destructive effect on our institutions.
When you hear the term “filibuster,” ultimately what people are referring to is the rule in the U.S. Senate that requires 60 votes to end debate on most topics and move forward with a vote. This type of rule governing ending debate has been around for much of our Republic, and it enables Senators to continue debating a topic until 60 senators agree to move forward with a vote, though a simple majority is all that is needed to pass a bill.
Why is keeping the filibuster important? Losing it means:
Increased Partisanship: If senators move forward with ending the filibuster, it will increase partisanship and make it easier for politicians in power to ram through one-sided legislation, silencing minority voices. It diminishes the need for lawmakers to work together to legislate.
Extreme Policies: Increased partisanship and division will only lead to more extreme policies, creating a revolving door of one extreme partisan policy routinely being replaced by another when power changes hands.
Stifling Debate: More robust debate leads to better public policy. Eliminating the filibuster deprives the American people of critical debate and the exchange of ideas.
Sweeping Changes to Institutions: Eliminating the filibuster would make it easier for lawmakers to fundamentally alter the nature of government, further eroding trust in governmental institutions and allowing more government overreach. It would make it easier to further silence grassroots voices and make sweeping changes, such as packing the Supreme Court.
Tell Senator Manchin: Don’t Eliminate the filibuster!