Durbin: Doing away with the filibuster would be the 'end of the Senate'

Durbin: Doing away with the filibuster would be the 'end of the Senate'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin calls Mueller report findings on Trump team 'troubling' Congress opens door to fraught immigration talks McConnell: 'Past time' for immigration-border security deal MORE (D-Ill.) on Sunday dismissed the notion of doing away with the filibuster amid negotiations to end the government shutdown, saying it would be the "end of the Senate" as it is currently known.  

"That would be the end of the Senate as it was originally devised and created going back to our founding fathers. We have to acknowledge our respect for the minority, and that is what the Senate tries to do in its composition and in its procedure," Durbin told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week." 

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"Let's get this done on a bipartisan basis," he added.  "We've produced a bipartisan approach to many of these issues. If the president and the leaders in Congress will sit down with us, we can resolve this quickly." 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference MORE in a tweet earlier Sunday urged Senate Republicans to enact the so-called nuclear option if the government shutdown drags on and pass a long-term budget with 51 votes.

 

 

The nuclear option would involve altering Senate rules to permit legislation to pass with a simple majority instead of 60 votes.

Durbin said Republicans don't need to trigger the nuclear option, citing the bipartisan talks currently taking place in Congress's upper chamber. 

"There are bipartisan conversations going on right now. I've met, as Sen. [Charles] Schumer [D-N.Y.] has, with the leaders of those efforts, Democrats and Republicans, who are in good faith trying to find common ground and put this behind us," he said. 

"But at the end of the day, the president has to step up and lead in this situation."

Durbin on another Sunday show blamed Trump for the shutdown, and said lawmakers had come to “a desperate situation."

“It’s not a good thing to do at any point. We have reached a desperate situation,” Durbin told CBS’s “Face the Nation." “This was the fourth continuing resolution. The Republican-controlled Congress has refused to fund the government.”

Senate Republicans and Democrats failed to reach an agreement before a midnight deadline on Friday to fund the government, resulting in the shutdown.  

— Mallory Shelbourne contributed to this report, which was updated at 11:32 a.m.