Lately, the Democrats in the Senate have been throwing around the idea of getting rid of the filibuster. This has caused a great debate between the Democratic and Republican parties on the importance of the filibuster and if it does more harm than good.
According to the Senate, a filibuster is an “informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions”. An example of this would include when Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky filibustered during a 13-hour debate.
Now, before the Civil War, the filibuster was used by slave states to protect their interests. Afterward, it was used by Southern Democrats to block civil rights legislation, including an Anti-Lynching act. The longest filibuster ever was done by former Senator Strom Thurmond and lasted 24 hours and 18minutues. He did this to block the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
The past use of the filibuster has been used as the basis for some to get rid of it. Elizabeth Warren stated that the filibuster has “deep roots in racism” and that’s why it needs to be taken away. Others have joined this stance, however, some still believe it would be detrimental to the American democracy to remove the filibuster.
Like, Executive Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce, Neil Bradley. Bradley stated that ending the filibuster “would fundamentally destroy the stability of the American legal and policy apparatus”.
On the other hand, President Biden has taken a middle stance. He stated, “I don’t think that you have to eliminate the filibuster, you have to do it what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days… You had to stand up and command the floor, you had to keep talking”.
If the Democrats do get rid of the filibuster, they will be able to pass more progressive legislation. However, the Democrats in the Senate do not have enough people to support them in discarding the filibuster. This does not stop their efforts, as they continue to argue their point to get people to join.