Will Democrats Really Nuke the Filibuster – And What Happens if They Do?

Are Mitch McConnell’s threats credible, or is he a paper tiger?

by James Wallner

President Joe Biden’s agenda has stalled on Capitol Hill halfway through his first 100 days in office. Biden’s supporters fear that if Democrats in Congress don’t act soon, they will have squandered their best opportunity to pass such policy priorities as a climate action bill, election legislation, and immigration reform. Supporters are especially frustrated with Senate Democrats for allowing their chamber’s Republicans to filibuster bills passed by the Democratic-controlled House.

The Senate, unlike the House, permits a minority of its members to block bills supported by a majority. Specifically, Rule 22 requires three-fifths of the Senate (60 senators) to vote to end a filibuster by invoking cloture on a bill. To end a filibuster of a proposal to change the Senate’s rules, Rule 22 says you need even more votes: two thirds of the senators present and voting. (Normally that’s 67 people.) In effect, Republicans can block a final vote on Democratic priorities because the Senate’s rules require more votes to end debate on a bill than they do to approve it.

Continue Reading at Reason.com…