Chuck Schumer Pushes Ahead With Doomed Vote on “Talking” Filibuster Changes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pressed ahead with a vote on the Senate’s filibuster rule that doesn’t have enough Democratic votes to pass, NBC News reports.

Schumer vowed to hold a vote on filibuster changes after Republicans repeatedly filibustered the Democrats voting rights legislation. Holdout Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have not budged on their defense of the 60-vote threshold to end a filibuster but Schumer is moving ahead with a vote on restoring the talking filibuster with a catch.

Under old Senate rules, senators had to talk and hold the floor to continue a filibuster but the chamber decades ago switched to new rules because filibusters were taking up too much time.

Schumer will hold a vote on bringing back the talking filibuster but also plans to invoke a dormant “two-speech” rule, which limits senators to two speeches on an issue to prevent a party from taking the Senate floor hostage indefinitely.

"If the Republicans block cloture on the legislation before us, I will put forward a proposal to change the rules to allow for a talking filibuster on this legislation, as recommended by a number of colleagues," Schumer said.

Under his proposal, he said, "the debate will have run its course and the Senate will move to vote on final passage at a majority threshold."

Not enough votes:

Manchin said he “loves” the talking filibuster but does not support a 50-vote threshold to end debate.

"There’s never been a simple majority vote to basically get off of a debate,” he claimed.

"I've been very clear about that. I just don't know how you break a rule to make a rule," Manchin said. "The majority of my colleagues in the Democratic caucus, they’ve changed their mind. I respect that. ... I haven’t. I hope they respect that, too. I’ve never changed my mind on the filibuster."

Sinema also backs the 60-vote threshold.

"The vast majority of our caucus strongly disagree with Sens. Manchin and Sinema on rules changes," Schumer said Tuesday.

McConnell threat:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned that Democratic filibuster changes would also allow Republicans to pass legislation with a simple majority if they retake the chamber.

"Too many of our colleagues across the aisle still want to respond to a 50-50 Senate with a rule-breaking power grab," he said Tuesday, adding that "voting to break this institution will not be a free vote or a harmless action, even if efforts fail."

"Voting to break the Senate is not cost-free, just because of a bipartisan majority of your colleagues have the wisdom to stop you," he said.


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