Strange reverses course on filibuster

Strange reverses course on filibuster
© Greg Nash

Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangePress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Pandemic proves importance of pharmaceutical innovation The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings MORE (R-Ala.) announced on Tuesday that he is now siding with President Trump and favors eliminating the filibuster just months after urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers remember Bob Dole: 'Bona fide American hero' Senate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Former Sen. Bob Dole dies at 98 MORE (R-Ky.) to keep it.

In a letter first obtained by Politico, Strange writes that he wishes to remove his signature from an April letter urging Senate leaders to preserve the filibuster, a stalling tactic in the Senate that requires 60 votes to end.

"I respectfully withdraw my signature from the aforementioned letter and instead make a declaration that it is necessary for Republican Senate Leadership to work to change the filibuster rule, as President Trump as requested, and give the American people's Senators the opportunity to debate on any legislation that can receive a simple majority vote," Strange wrote Tuesday.

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Strange also attacked Republicans in the Senate who have been so far "unwilling" to support Trump's legislative agenda.

"Since [sending the initial letter], I have been disappointed in many of my colleagues who have been unwilling to even engage in debate on legislation put forth," Strange wrote.

"While this obstruction from my Democratic colleagues is frustrating enough, it is even more disheartening to find that some of my Republican colleagues are equally unwilling to put politics aside in order to accomplish the will of the American people."

Alabama news service AL.com reported on Tuesday that Strange has already talked to McConnell about his new stance on the filibuster. In comments to the website, Strange called its elimination a "necessary step" to end obstructionism in Washington, D.C.

"I think this will be a significant step forward in actually getting things done in Washington," Strange. "I think now, given the obstructionism we're facing from both sides of the aisle ... this is a necessary step."

Strange, who has been endorsed by Trump, is facing a strong primary challenge from former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who will face Strange in a Sept. 26 runoff. Both candidates claim allegiance to Trump and his agenda, and a RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Moore with a 10-point lead over the incumbent Strange.

Strange was appointed in February to serve out the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE (R-Ala.), who was confirmed as Trump's attorney general.