Sen Lindsey Graham says that he is fed up with Democrats threatening to change the rules if they can’t get enough votes. He says he refuses to be extorted.
The problem here is that they can’t do away with almost any of their bills unless they can eliminate the filibuster first. They could do that on a simple majority but both Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are resistant to that idea and the Democrats can’t afford to lose even one vote.
Graham spoke with Chris Matthews, who somehow escaped CNN, about lowering the standard for the filibuster or doing away with it completely. One idea is to return to the talking filibuster. Under that course of action, you can delay a vote only for as long as you can stand on your feet and continue to talk.
Graham said he would talk all night. But, that type of filibuster would be worthless because they can be broken by the majority every time.
Wallace opened up the conversation by bringing up the Manchin compromise. But, Graham said he was against it, and why not? The Republicans under Trump operated by the current rules and they held a clear majority in the Senate and could have eliminated the filibuster at will. But, they didn’t but Democrats do not believe in playing by the rules but had the Republicans eliminated the filibuster, what do you think the Democrats would have said?
“Do you run the risk that Manchin and a couple of other moderate senators will eventually say look, bipartisanship isn’t working and, you know what, we are not going to kill the filibuster but we are going to reduce the number of votes you need to stop a debate from 60 to 55. Do you run that risk?”
What a ridiculous question. To not take a risk, the Republicans would have to give the Democrats everything they want. The real risk is in caving and not holding your ground.
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“I hope not because I was in Joe Manchin’s shoes.”
“When we had the House and the Senate and the White House under President Trump, I had a bunch of Democrats wanting to sign a letter with me protecting the filibuster. Every one of those Democrats has fled for the hills, so I was beaten on every day.”