The U.S. Senate has been heralded throughout the nation’s history for creating an environment conducive to deliberation and debate, and the filibuster has been among the tools used to preserve the voice and influence of a minority party.
Partisan attacks have repeatedly threatened the filibuster, however, with the latest attempt coming from Democratic Party-aligned activists who believe the party is on the verge of regaining a majority in the chamber, as reported by the Daily Wire.
“The need for speedy action”
Without a possible filibuster, a majority party’s members can more easily ram through an agenda with a bare majority vote and face little in the way of effective opposition from the other side of the aisle.
That explains the mixed feelings both Democratic and Republican senators have toward the tool depending on which party has the upper hand at the time.
Now, a coalition of various left-leaning organizations have formed the group Fix Our Senate with the explicit goal of emphasizing the perceived need of abolishing the filibuster, according to NBC News.
Eli Zupnick, a former top aide to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), explained the group’s mission in a statement to the network.
“Our goal is to lift the filibuster higher on progressives’ agendas in advance of November and help them make it clear to a future President Biden and Senate leadership that they expect and demand speedy Senate rules reform in 2021 and will not accept more gridlock, delays and excuses,” he said. “We are going to be very focused on the need for speedy action.”
“Lost patience with playing by the rules”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a staunch defender of the filibuster, slammed the effort among some Democrats to scrap it.
In remarks from the Senate floor on Monday, he called it a “threat to permanently disfigure” the legislative body” and marks “the latest growing drumbeat in the modern Democratic Party’s war against our governing institutions.”
McConnell went on to allege that the modern Democratic Party has “lost patience with playing by the rules and want to wage war on the rulebook itself.”
Of course, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is urging a possible Biden administration to make abolishing the filibuster “the first item of business with a Senate majority which is Democratic.”
Though many voters are not focused on a procedural Senate rule as part of their decision-making process on Election Day, it represents one more potential change that could impact America if Democrats take control of the Senate and White House.