Trump: Ending Filibuster Would Be ‘Catastrophic’ For GOP

Former President Donald Trump said if Senate Democrats are successful in their effort to remove the filibuster, it would be “catastrophic” for the Republican Party.

The filibuster is a procedural provision that allows the minority party to force an open-ended debate on any issue and requires 60 senators to end debate and move to a vote. Without it, a simple majority vote would be needed to end debate, and the evenly split Senate is now controlled by Democrats, which have 51 votes with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker.During an interview on the podcast “The Truth with Lisa Boothe,” Trump said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is barely keeping the provision alive.

“Look, he’s hanging by a thread right now with respect to the filibuster,” Trump said of McConnell.

“And if they get the filler, he’s hanging on [Sen.] Joe Manchin [D-WV], who always goes with the Democrats. Joe talks, but he ends up going with the Democrats. Now there’s another great senator from the state of Arizona. He’s hanging by a thread and if they get rid of the filibuster, if they knock it out, it will be catastrophic for the Republican Party,” Trump said.

McConnell, for his part, has vehemently defended the provision, warnings about eliminating the filibuster rule.

“Let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues: Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin, can even begin, to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like,” McConnell said last week. “I want our colleagues to imagine a world where every single task, every one of them, requires a physical quorum.”

The filibuster, made famous in the movie “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,” starring Jimmy Stewart, has also drawn support from President Joe Biden, who served in the Senate for more than 30 years.

“You had to stand up and command the floor and you had to keep talking along,” Biden said of the rule, which required a senator to keep speaking. “Once you stopped talking, you lost that and someone could move in and say, I move to the question of. You’ve got to work for the filibuster. It is almost getting to the point where democracy is having a hard time functioning.”

While Trump is now saying it would be “catastrophic” for the GOP if Democrats do away with the rule, he said in 2018 that Republicans should kill the filibuster before then Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the Democrats do.

“Trump told more than 15 House and Senate GOP appropriators that Schumer, the Senate minority leader, would get rid of the legislative filibuster if Democrats took over the chamber in November. According to several lawmakers, Trump suggested that a mutual friend he shares with Schumer heard this from the New York Democrat and then passed the tidbit onto the president,” Politico reported in June 2018.

“Trump said during the meeting that keeping the filibuster in place could mean ‘the end of the party,’ according to several lawmakers who attended. Senate Democrats will block much of the GOP agenda, he said, but voters will see Republicans failing to get things done and turn against them at the polls,” the liberal political site reported.

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