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Filed Under: Politics

Why do some Democrats in Congress want to do away with the filibuster?

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Even with a simple majority in the Senate, Democrats struggle to pass legislation for one reason: the filibuster. Senate Republicans used it to block the creation of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and Sen. Joe Manchin has stated his opposition to eliminating the filibuster.

SHANNON LONGWORTH, REPORTER: OKAY, SO HERE’S HOW HOLLYWOOD DEPICTS A FILIBUSTER.

SOMEONE DESPERATE, STANDING AND TALKING FOR HOURS ON THE SENATE FLOOR.

BELLAMY YOUNG: “BECAUSE I CAN’T STOP TALKING, I’M GOING TO THINK OUT LOUD.”

SHANNON LONGWORTH: BUT IS THIS REALLY WHAT A FILIBUSTER LOOKS LIKE?

LET’S GET THIS STRAIGHT.

A BUNCH OF FRUSTRATED DEMOCRATIC SENATORS WANT TO GET RID OF THE FILIBUSTER.

BUT BY DEFINITION, TO FILIBUSTER IS TO PROLONG DEBATE AND DELAY OR PREVENT A VOTE ON A BILL.

WHICH BASICALLY MEANS IT’S A HAIL MARY FOR SENATORS TO PUSH OR STOP A 

VOTE, THEIR LAST CHANCE.

BUT NOWADAYS, SENATORS DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE TO PUT ON A WHOLE SHOW BY HOLDING THE FLOOR.

AMY POEHLER: THE FILIBUSTER IS ON!

SHANNON LONGWORTH: ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS PUSH THE VOTE BY DEBATING THE BILL WHICH THEY CAN DO SITTING DOWN.

WHILE THE REST OF THE SENATE DOES OTHER WORK. I KNOW NOT AS NEARLY DRAMATIC. 

THE ONLY WAY THEY STOP THE STALLING AND VOTE? IS WITH SOMETHING CALLED CLOTURE.

THAT’S WHEN 60 SENATORS DECIDE IT’S TIME TO CALL IT.

BETWEEN 2019 AND 2020, CLOTURE WAS INVOKED 270 TIMES.

WHICH MEANS THERE IS A WHOLE LOT OF STALLING GOING ON. YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE EVEN MORE OF IT NOW THAT DEMOCRATS HAVE CONTROL OF THE SENATE. 

AND REPUBLICANS ARE BANKING ON THE FILIBUSTERS TO STAND IN THE WAY. 

OBVIOUSLY THAT’S FRUSTRATING FOR DEMOCRATS RIGHT NOW. 

BUT KEEP IN MIND DEMOCRATS FILIBUSTERED PLENTY OF TIMES WHEN THEY WERE MINORITY. 

SO NOT ALL OF THEM WANT TO GET RID OF IT BECAUSE INEVITABLY THEY WILL BE THE MINORITY AGAIN SOME DAY. 

BOTH PARTIES OF COURSE  SERVING UP SOME GOOD MATERIAL FOR HOLLYWOOD.

Even with a simple majority in the Senate, Democrats struggle to pass legislation for one reason: the filibuster. Senate Republicans used it to block the creation of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and Sen. Joe Manchin has stated his opposition to eliminating the filibuster.

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