Susan Collins challenger open to nixing Senate filibuster

Susan Collins challenger open to nixing Senate filibuster
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Senate Democratic nominee Sara Gideon — who is running to unseat GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSchumer urges GOP to ignore Trump: He's 'rooting for failure' Trump pressures McConnell, GOP to ditch bipartisan talks until they have majority Transit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal MORE in Maine — is signaling support for nixing the legislative filibuster if she wins in November. 

Gideon said she would vote to eliminate the 60-vote procedural hurdle if it stood in the way of Democratic priorities, including health care legislation, according to the Bangor Daily News.

“I think what Americans need and what Mainers need more than anything is government that functions and I think that the filibuster prevents us from functioning and making progress on issues,” said Gideon, the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives. 

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Gideon is one of several Democratic Senate candidates who have said they are open to getting rid of the filibuster by lowering it to a simple majority if Democrats win control of the Senate in November. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, meaning Democrats will need a net win of three seats and the White House in November or a total pickup of four seats for an outright majority starting in January. 

Collins voted to nix the 60-vote hurdle for Supreme Court nominees in 2017 after Justice Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchNo reason to pack the court Democrats under new pressure to break voting rights stalemate Trump 'very disappointed' in Kavanaugh votes: 'Where would he be without me?' MORE was unable to get enough Democratic support to overcome it. But she's defended keeping the same hurdle for legislation, including organizing a 2017 letter urging leadership to keep it intact. 

Democrats are currently debating what to do about the legislative filibuster if they win back the Senate. Progressives and a growing number of Democratic senators support getting rid of it. 

But several Democratic senators have warned that they are opposed to doing so, casting doubt on if there would be the votes needed to use the "nuclear option," which allows them to change the Senate rules with only a simple majority. 

Gideon, whose campaign also indicated to HuffPost in late June that she would support nixing the filibuster so the Senate could be more productive, is one of several Democratic Senate candidates who have signaled they are open to changing the filibuster. 

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve Bullock65 former governors, mayors back bipartisan infrastructure deal Arkansas, New Jersey governors to head National Governors Association Biden 'allies' painting him into a corner MORE (D), who is running to unseat GOP Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesSenate committee advances bipartisan energy infrastructure bill  Hillicon Valley: Lina Khan faces major FTC test | Amazon calls for her recusal | Warren taps commodities watchdog to probe Google Senators propose bill to help private sector defend against hackers MORE, has voiced support for ending the filibuster; former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperBipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor Colorado lawmaker warns of fire season becoming year-round The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden helps negotiate bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (D) has said he's open to listening to reform ideas; North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham has called for filibuster reform; and Iowa Democratic Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield's campaign has signaled she would consider potential filibuster reforms.