Senate Democrats are navigating an inter party fight over the legislative filibuster, as leadership hopes to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for debate on major legislation in order to expedite President Biden’s agenda.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a longtime opponent of the filibuster, said on Thursday that the procedural measure is “racist.”
“The filibuster has deep roots in racism, and it should not be permitted to serve that function, or to create a veto for the minority. In a democracy, it's majority rules,” Warren told Axios.
Democrats’ glaring hypocrisy on the use of the filibuster is not lost on Senate Republicans. The now-majority party was happy to utilize the filibuster measure to torpedo legislation endorsed by Republicans, including GOP Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) police reform bill, the Justice Act.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reminded Democrats of their previous support of the filibuster, when convenient, to deny Republicans debate on legislation.
While in the majority, Senate Republicans never scrapped the filibuster in order to pass legislation seamlessly. McConnell warned Democrats that the framers created the filibuster to "force cooperation" between the majority and minority parties, and that the "pendulum will swing" when Republicans take back the majority in the upper chamber.