The debate over the possible nixing of the Senate filibuster rule is back in the headlines, with the rule being virtually the only shield Republicans have against a Democrat-controlled Senate and House from passing all the legislation they desire.
According to the Daily Caller, though former President Donald Trump has admitted that terminating the Senate filibuster would be “catastrophic” for the party right now, in a new interview, Trump slammed then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for not ending the filibuster while Republicans had control of the upper chamber, calling McConnell a “stupid person.”
What did Trump say?
The former president held nothing back in the recently-published Vanity Fair interview, telling journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker that he believes McConnell was foolish to not put an end to the filibuster rule during his time in the White House.
“I don’t think he’s smart enough … I tried to convince Mitch McConnell to get rid of the filibuster, to terminate it, so that we would get everything, and he was a knucklehead and he didn’t do it,” Trump said.
“He’s a stupid person,” the former president added.
As the Daily Caller noted in a March 2021 report, McConnell went on record to recall when the former president insisted that he end the Senate filibuster, which, much like the situation Senate Democrats face today, would have allowed Republicans to pass most legislation with a simple majority vote, which they had at the time.
“President Trump tried to get me to orchestrate the end of the filibuster for a number of years, even tweeted about it, and I said ‘no, Mr. President, that is not in the best interest of the institution … it’s actually not in your best interest either,'” McConnell said of Trump’s request.
Trump’s new take
In a March interview with Fox News contributor Lisa Marie Boothe, Trump admitted that if Democrats proceed with ending the Senate filibuster, it would be “catastrophic” for the Republican party. That’s especially more accurate now, as Democrats look for ways to pass multi-trillion-dollar legislative packages to the president’s desk.
Trump said at the time: “And if they get the filler, he’s hanging on Joe Manchin, who always goes with the Democrats. Joe talks, but he ends up going with the Democrats.”
“Now there’s another great senator from the state of Arizona. He’s hanging by a thread and if they get rid of the filibuster, if they knock it out, it will be catastrophic for the Republican Party,” the former president added.
As it stands, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has remained somewhat steady in his resistance to ending the filibuster, which is likely the smart-money play, given that Republicans very well could take majority control next year, leaving Democrats with virtually no defense against an onslaught of Republican legislation.
Only time will tell what ultimately happens to the rule, but it’s clear that the filibuster has come in handy for both parties and will likely continue to do so in the future, especially when the Senate is only held by a razor-thin majority by one side.