The Rules Of The Senate No Longer Matter To Chuck Schumer

January 12, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) delivered floor remarks regarding Democrat's efforts to end the filibuster.


To watch Senator Blackburn’s speech, click below or here.



You can read the transcript below or in the Congressional Record.

Madam President, the Senator from Missouri is exactly
right. We are going to hear so much about this, and the reason is, as
the American people hear about this so-called election bill, what they
are realizing is, it is not something that is going to make their local
election safer. It is something that is going to put that power in
Washington, DC.
Now, what we are hearing from the majority leader and the Democratic
leadership is that they have got to get rid of the filibuster in order
to push forward this election bill, adding States, packing courts--all
of this laundry list of a socialist agenda that they are planning to
So what I want to do today for a couple of minutes is just walk us
down memory lane as to what people have had to say, what our Democratic
colleagues have had to say about the filibuster.
In May of 2005, then-Senator Joe Biden came to the floor and he
vigorously jumped into the middle of a debate over the filibuster. He
said that things would go very wrong if his colleagues decided to blow
up the rules to get their way. What is interesting about Senator
Biden's position is that it had almost nothing to do with his policy
Here is his quote:
      Folks who want to see this change want to eliminate one of
     the procedural mechanisms designed for the express purpose of
     guaranteeing individual rights, and they also have a
     consequence, and would undermine the protections of a
     minority point of view in the heat of majority excess.
He understood, at that point in time, the importance of preserving
the Senate's institutional power and abiding by standards that not only
welcome but require deliberation and compromise.
Well, what a difference a few years and a Senate majority can make.
Today, we are having the exact same debate, but the power my Democratic
colleagues won in the last election has changed their minds about
breaking the Senate to get their way. The problem is, the Senate is not
broken. It does not need their changes.
But the rules no longer matter to the majority leader, even though he
said as recently as 2017:
      [L]et us go no further down this road. I hope the
     Republican leader and I can, in the coming months, find a way
     to build a firewall around the legislative filibuster, which
     is the most important distinction between the Senate and the
     House. Without the 60-vote threshold for legislation, the
     Senate becomes a majoritarian institution like the House,
     much more subject to the winds of short-term electoral
Well, my, my, my, how about that? He understood the dangers of
legislative whiplash, even when he was in the minority. So did my
colleague Senator Durbin, who said in 2018 that he believed that ending
the filibuster would ``be the end of the Senate as it was originally
devised and created, going back to our Founding Fathers.''
Well, I am going to ask the Senators from New York and Illinois: What
happened here? What changed their minds so drastically? They have done
a 180. I would ask the same question of many of my Democratic colleagues. In
2017, 32 Senate Democrats--yes, that is correct, 32, many of whom are
still serving in this Chamber today--signed onto a bipartisan letter in
support of the filibuster. Now, they, too, have changed their minds. It
makes you wonder: What is everybody on the Democratic aisle drinking
these days?
This is no way to run the world's greatest deliberative body, but it
is a great way to destroy it. Between 2017 and today, many Senate
changed their minds about how to handle the filibuster.
Over the past year, we have watched Joe Biden and the Democrats
attack more than one institution forming the foundation of this Nation.
The Supreme Court, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, limits on
the power of the Executive, and, now, the Senate rules have all proved
to be inconvenient to their agenda and ended up on the chopping block.
That is where they are putting them.
 My Democratic colleagues may be frustrated, but that is just too bad.
The Senate was not designed to rubberstamp legislation that is so
belligerently foolish it can't tempt a single Republican vote--not one.
The Senate was designed to protect the American people and the
institution itself from shortsighted leadership.
My colleagues claim that all they are asking for is one teeny little
carve-out--just one. But I would remind them that there is only so much
carving you can do before you reduce the entire thing to dust. And
based on their track record, we have no reason to trust that they will
stop carving and put down the knife rather than use it to hold the
Senate hostage the next time they can't scrounge up the votes to check
something off their to-do list.