GOP senator openly calls for killing the filibusterSeptember 15, 2015
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., on Tuesday said on the Senate floor that Republican leaders should change Senate rules so the minority party can’t filibuster the chamber to block consideration of legislation they don’t like.
Moran’s call came just hours before the Senate was due to try once more to advance a resolution disapproving of the Iran nuclear agreement. Forty-two Senate Democrats blocked that resolution last week, and the same number were expected to block it again Tuesday.
But Moran said the issue is so important this time, the rules need to be changed to break the Democratic filibuster and move to a simple majority vote on the resolution.
“This becomes the moment, in my view, in which you can look at what has transpired on the debate on Iran, and reach the conclusion that the 60-vote rule is damaging to the future of our country, because it’s damaging to the ability of the Senate to work the will of the American people and to make decisions that advance a cause different than one’s political party and political philosophy,” Moran said.
“In my view, the time has come for us to consider this issue of how the filibuster works, and it is because this issue is so important, and the outcome of this debate so valuable to the future of our country and the security of the world, that in this case, we need to move forward with a majority vote to allow this agreement to be rejected,” he added.
“This agreement is not worthy of the protection that it’s being given by a minority of the Senate,” he concluded.
In the last Congress, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., change the filibuster rules on his own so that Republicans could no longer block President Obama’s judicial appointments. Republicans railed at that decision, but at the same time, the GOP has not switched the rule back.
Those steeped in Senate history have said Reid’s move, and subsequent calls from Republicans to weaken the filibuster rules further, are slowly turning the Senate into another House where the majority rules. They say that change goes against the intent of the Senate, which is to force the parties to find a consensus, something lacking over the last several years under the Obama administration.