Dodd: Changing filibuster rules would be 'foolish'

Diluting the Senate's filibuster rules would be "foolish," Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) suggested Wednesday.


Dodd, who has served in the Senate since 1981 and is the sixth most senior Democrat in the chamber, rejected some colleagues' efforts to diminish or eliminate filibuster rules, which have turned into a de-facto threshold of 60 votes needed to get anything done in the Senate.

"I totally oppose the idea of changing filibuster rules," Dodd said during an appearance on MSNBC. "That's foolish, in my view."

Some other Democratic senators, led by Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), have introduced a measure to change the filibuster, though leaders have acknowledged it is unlikely to pass.

Still, Democrats have been stymied on top priorities like health reform and climate change legislation by not being able to get the 60 votes needed to end debate, despite having had a majority of that size for some months.

Dodd said that changing filibuster rules wouldn't do much to change a culture of incivility he said had crept into the Senate.

"There's nothing wrong with partisanship. We've got to get over this notion that there's something evil about partisanship," the Connecticut senator said. "It's the lack of civility."