Senate

Sanders: 'Not crazy' about nixing the Senate filibuster

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he is "not crazy" about nixing the legislative filibuster, despite calls from some progressives to get rid of the 60-vote hurdle. 

 

"I'm not crazy about getting rid of the filibuster," Sanders said during an interview with CBS News's "This Morning." 

 

Sanders, appearing to pivot away from the topic of the filibuster, added that the "problem" with Washington, D.C., is that there is a system dominated "by wealthy campaign contributors." 

 

"I'm not crazy about getting rid of the filibuster. I think the problem is, people often talk about the lack of comity and the anger. The real issue is that you have in Washington a system which is dominated in Washington by wealthy campaign contributors," he said. 

 

Talk of getting rid of the legislative filibuster if Democrats retake the Senate in 2020 kicked into high gear late last month after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told Politico that nixing the 60-vote legislative filibuster should be "on the table" if Democrats win back the chamber and the White House in the 2020 elections.  

 

A coalition of progressive groups are trying to make the the legislative filibuster a wedge issue in the primary, where several Democratic senators are running for their party's nomination. 

 

They argue that the myriad of big-idea proposals currently being pitched by progressives - including "Medicare for all" and the Green New Deal - would be dead on arrival in the Senate if 60 votes are required. 

 

But several Democratic senators, including Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Democrat in the chamber, are wary or outright opposed to nixing the filibuster, arguing it would turn the Senate into the House, defang the minority and freeze any hope of bipartisanship. 

 

President Trump has repeatedly urged Republicans to get rid of the 60-vote filibuster, arguing that it's standing in the way of enacting his agenda.

 

Twenty-eight Democrats currently in the Senate signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in 2017, after Republicans got rid of the 60-vote filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, supporting keeping the legislative filibuster.

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