Romney warns against getting rid of filibuster, citing possible Trump win in 2024
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Tuesday issued a warning to Democrats about the potential consequences of getting rid of the filibuster and accused President Biden of going down “the same tragic road” of former President Trump.
“The United States Senate is one of our vital democratic institutions, and the power given to the minority in the Senate and the resulting requirement for political consensus are among the Senate’s defining features,” Romney said while speaking on the Senate floor.
“Note that in the federal government, empowerment of the minority is established through only one institution: the Senate,” he said. “The majority decides in the House; the majority decides in the Supreme Court; and the president, of course, is a majority of one. Only in the Senate does the minority restrain the power of the majority.”
Romney asserted that the power afforded to the minority was “critical” because it helped to ensure that laws passed in the Senate appealed to both political parties and did not “originate from the extreme wing of either one.” Without the filibuster, measures on taxes, safety net programs and national security would change every time another party gained the majority, Romney said.
“There is also a reasonable chance Republicans will win both houses in Congress, and that Donald Trump himself could once again be elected president in 2024,” he continued. “Have Democrats thought what it would mean for them — for the Democrat minority — to have no power whatsoever?”
The Utah senator also accused his Democratic colleagues of hypocrisy, pointing to their frequent use of the filibuster when they were in the minority in the past.
“Over the course of my life, I have found that when presented with a matter of personal advantage that would require abandoning principles, the human mind goes to work overtime to rationalize taking that advantage,” he said.
Romney also criticized Biden’s speech on voting rights in Georgia, in which the president said Republicans were seeking to “turn the will of the voters into a mere suggestion.”
“And so, President Biden goes down the same tragic road taken by President Trump — casting doubt on the reliability of American elections,” said Romney. “This is a sad, sad day. I expected more of President Biden, who came into office with the stated goal of bringing the country together.”
Biden on Tuesday made it clear that he supported changing Senate rules in order to pass voting rights legislation.
“I believe the threat to our democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills,” he said in Atlanta.
“And if that bare minimum is blocked, we have no option but to change the Senate rules, including getting rid of the filibuster for this,” he added.
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