Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer left the fate of the filibuster up in the air Thursday, saying that Democrats would “do what it takes” to advance their agenda should Democratic nominee Joe Biden win the presidency and the party retake the Senate majority.
Schumer said that his party has a “moral imperative” to fulfill its promises made to the American people during a radio interview with “The Joe Madison Show.”
“We have a moral imperative to the people of America to get a whole lot done, if we get the majority, which God-willing we will, and keep it in the House, and Biden becomes President, nothing is off the table,” Schumer said during the interview.
“We will do what it takes to get this done. I’m hopeful, maybe if Trump goes and McConnell is leader no longer, some Republicans might work with us. But we’re going to have to get it done whether they work with us or not.”
Both Biden and Schumer are still holding out hope for bipartisan cooperationhttps://t.co/lTAclSPtun
— Roll Call (@rollcall) August 21, 2020
The 60-vote filibuster was first used in the Senate in 1837, according to the Brookings Institute, though it has been eroded in recent years. Democrats abolished it for all judicial nominations shy of the Supreme Court in 2013, and Republicans did the same for Supreme Court nominations following the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017.
Some senators have indicated that they are open to scrapping the rule, including Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, in order to advance their agendas on issues like healthcare and climate change.
Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the upper chamber (two independent senators caucus with Democrats), meaning that Democrats would need to retake the majority in order to have enough votes to abolish the rule.
At least two senators, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Angus King of Maine, have already said that they are opposed to the measure.