Senate

Harry Reid renews call for filibuster to be abolished: ‘We need to get the Senate working again’

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called for the filibuster to be abolished Wednesday in light of the new restrictive Texas abortion bill, arguing that the country “need[s] to get the Senate working again.”

“The sanctity of the Senate is not the filibuster. The sanctity of the Senate — in government as a whole — is the power it holds to better the lives of and protect the rights of the American people,” Reid wrote in a column published by the Las Vegas Sun on Wednesday.

“It’s time Senate Democrats act with the urgency that this moment demands and abolish the filibuster once and for all,” he added.

Reid, who led Democrats in the upper chamber from 2007 until 2015, has previously called for an end to the filibuster. 

He supported nixing the legislative hurdle in 2013 for most presidential nominations, a decision that he wrote was “not easy.”

Senate Republicans took back the majority in 2014, and later ended the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations. 

In January, Reid said he was “not particularly optimistic” that Biden would push to eliminate the legislative hurdle.

Democrats in the Senate do not have the votes to end the filibuster because of opposition from at least two centrist Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. 

Pressure has been building on those senators to back ending the filibuster to move legislation on voting rights, but the two moderates have shown no sign of budging.  

 

Reid in his column said the Senate has become a “gridlocked body” that has “more obstruction than debate,” in large part because of the filibuster.

 

Tags Harry Reid Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Mitch McConnell

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