Senate Democrats are eyeing trying to change the Senate’s rules to shift to a talking filibuster, which would get rid of the 60-vote hurdle currently required to advance most legislation.

Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, cautioned that Democrats would continue their discussions during a caucus meeting set for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, but said the caucus is moving toward trying to implement the talking filibuster.

The move would let opponents delay a bill for as long as they could hold the floor, but after that it could pass with a simple majority.

“It’s more of a talking filibuster. … This is being discussed. It’s going to be solidified this evening,” Durbin told reporters.

Durbin confirmed that moving to a talking filibuster would get rid of the 60-vote hurdle currently needed to advance legislation through the Senate, adding that “you have to do that, or you don’t accomplish your goal.”

Durbin indicated that Democrats were not going for what’s been their main alternative to the talking filibuster — a carveout that would exempt voting rights legislation from the 60-vote hurdle while leaving it intact for other issues.

Spokespeople for Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The rules change attempt is expected to fall short. To change the rules without GOP support, Democrats would need total unity from all 50 members of their caucus.

But Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have reiterated that they support the 60-vote threshold, even while also supporting the voting rights legislation.

Still, Schumer is vowing to push forward. The Senate is expected to hold a vote on Wednesday to try to end debate on the voting legislation, which merges the Freedom to Vote Act with the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. But Republicans will block that from getting 60 votes, which will prompt the attempt to change the rules.

“Members of this chamber were elected to debate and to vote, especially on an issue as vital to the beating heart of our democracy as voting rights, and the public, the public is entitled to know where each senator stands on an issue as sacrosanct as defending our democracy,” Schumer said.

Schumer added that if Republicans block the voting bill, as they are expected to, then the Senate “must consider and vote on the rules changes that are appropriate and necessary to restore the Senate and make voting legislation possible.”

Tags Charles Schuemr Charles Schumer Dick Durbin Joe Manchin John Lewis Kyrsten Sinema Senate filibuster talking filibuster

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