Amidst the excitement and energy of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a powerful moment was made when Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin high-fived in acknowledgment of blocking Republican attempts to reform the filibuster.
Introduction to Filibuster Reform | Political News
For those who don’t know, a filibuster is a tactic used by members of the Senate to block or delay legislation. In order to do this, Senators can talk on the floor for as long as they want and prevent a vote from taking place.
This can be done both formally and informally, but in either case, it takes 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and move forward with a vote.
Now, as per the breaking news politics, there have been calls for filibuster reform for years now, but nothing has ever come of it. That could be changing soon though, as two Senators have recently announced their support for reform.
Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, both moderates from swing states, have said that they’re open to reforming the filibuster rules. This is big news, as their support is crucial if any kind of reform is going to happen.
There’s no telling what kind of reform they’re considering at this point, but anything would be better than the current system. The filibuster has been abused in recent years to an unprecedented degree, and it’s time something was done about it.
Sinema and Manchin’s Agreement on Blocking Reform
Sinema and Manchin have been two of the most vocal opponents of filibuster reform in the Senate. And they were both at Davos this week, where they had a little chat about their shared goal of keeping the status quo.
“We had a little discussion earlier today about, you know, our shared love of the filibuster,” Manchin told CNBC’s John Harwood. “I think it was pretty apparent that we feel very strongly about it.”
Sinema echoed those sentiments, saying that she believes the filibuster is “an important tool” to protect the minority party in the Senate.
The two senators have been working together to block any efforts to change the rules of the Senate, including a proposal from Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer that would have made it easier to pass legislation with a simple majority vote.
The Impact of Blocking Reform
Blocking reform of the filibuster has had a number of impacts on American politics. Perhaps most noticeably, it has made it much harder for the minority party to advance its agenda.
In the past,filibuster reformers have argued that the Senate should return to a talking filibuster, which would require senators to actually hold the floor and debate their objections to a bill.
However, blocking reform has also had some unintended consequences. For example, it has made it more difficult for the majority party to pass bills with bipartisan support.
This is because when one party controls both the White House and Congress, as they do now, they can often steamroll their opposition.
But with the filibuster in place, Senators from the minority party can gum up the works and slow down progress on legislation. This often forces the majority party to make deals with them in order to get anything done.
As a result, many bills that are passed these days have provisions in them that benefit both parties rather than just one.
International Reactions to the News
When news of Sinema and Manchin’s secret high-five spread, the international community was quick to react. Many were dismayed that two powerful Senators would collude to block reform that could make the Senate a more effective and representative body.
Some saw it as a sign of weakness in American democracy, while others questioned whether the filibuster was an undemocratic tool that should be abolished altogether.
The Future of Filibuster Reform
majority of Americans want to see the Senate get rid of the filibuster. A new poll from Data for Progress and The Young Turks found that 52 percent of likely voters think the Senate should eliminate the filibuster, while only 30 percent said they want to keep it.
The future of the filibuster is likely to be a major topic of discussion in the 2020 election. If Democrats take back the Senate, they will be under pressure to eliminate the filibuster or make significant changes to it.
And if Republicans hold onto the Senate, they may also be open to reforming the filibuster if they feel it’s preventing them from passing their agenda.
The high-five that Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin shared in Davos serves as an illustrative reminder of the gridlock present in American politics right now. Despite calls for reform, it is evident that responses to political news remains partisan and deeply rooted in polarized ideologies.