Lately, Democrats have been making a major push to get rid of the filibuster — a move that would greatly limit Republicans’ ability to do anything about the Left’s schemes as long as they control the House, Senate, and presidency. Naturally, AoC and Democrats say we don’t need the filibuster.
The filibuster allows the minority party, in this case Republicans, to stand up to the majority when it wants to do something that the minority finds reprehensible. For instance, if Democrats wanted to make abortion legal until the day of birth, you might see a hero like Rand Paul filibuster the vote by speaking for days on end about whatever he chooses. The purpose, of course, is to delay the vote. This would then require a three-fifths vote to invoke cloture, something much harder to obtain than a simple majority.
To Democrats, this ability to speak truth to power is a dangerous thing. The ability to stand in their way? Even more dangerous. New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says that the filibuster isn’t needed because the Senate exists and “already amplifies minority power.”
“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd told AOC that Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema has said she would not support eliminating the filibuster. Joe Manchin has also said he will not play the Democrats’ game because Republicans would simply undo anything the Democrats accomplish. AOC says that she still wants to eliminate the filibuster.
“No, I mean, it is essentially an argument of saying well, why do anything at all in case something in our future may change it,” she says, adding that once Democrat policy items are enacted, “they are very politically difficult to undo.”
“So I do not believe in the defeatism of saying ‘we will lose in the future and this will automatically mean that anything we do now is going to be reversed so we might as well not do anything now,’” she says.
AOC also questioned the filibuster threshold. “Okay, why 60 votes?” she asked. “Why not stop at 70 votes? Why not need 80 votes to pass any legislation?” AOC claims the “Senate already amplifies minority power.”
“Why defend a 60-vote filibuster when the Senate already amplifies minority power so that the 50 Democratic senators already represent millions and millions and millions more Americans than 50 Republican senators,” AOC says. And so I would argue that 50 Republican senators is already a built in kind of filibuster-esque firewall.”