AOC: We Must Eliminate the Filibuster Because ‘Democratic Policies Are Popular’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) believes it is essential to eliminate the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass most legislation, because Democrat policies are “popular.”
Responding to remarks from Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who is adamantly opposed to ending the filibuster, Ocasio-Cortez argued political systems “all across the country” and “all across the world” use a simple majority to pass legislation and that the functions of the U.S. Senate should be no different.
“And frankly, here’s the thing, is that Democratic legislation, once enacted, is popular,” she said during an appearance on Meet the Press.
“Republicans have tried to gut Social Security. They tried to reverse the ACA [Affordable Care Act]. They tried to claw back on legislation that has passed by simple majority in the Senate. They have not been able to because Democratic policies are popular,” she asserted, noting they are “difficult to undo” once put into place.
“So I do not believe in the defeatism of saying we’ll lose the future. This will automatically mean that anything we do now is going to be reversed, so we’ll not do anything now. Our job is to legislate. Our job is to help people. Our job is to do as much as we can,” the New York Democrat continued.
“Even if that’s the case, wouldn’t it be better for people’s health care and voting rights for three years instead of zero years? Even you can see the point that I don’t think it is true in the first place,” she added.
Her response followed an op-ed from Sinema, who maintains ending the filibuster will do more harm than good, urging more “bipartisan cooperation”:
It’s no secret that I oppose eliminating the Senate’s 60-vote threshold. I held the same view during three terms in the U.S. House, and said the same after I was elected to the Senate in 2018. If anyone expected me to reverse my position because my party now controls the Senate, they should know that my approach to legislating in Congress is the same whether in the minority or majority.
To those who want to eliminate the legislative filibuster to pass the For the People Act (voting-rights legislation I support and have co-sponsored), I would ask: Would it be good for our country if we did, only to see that legislation rescinded a few years from now and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law or restrictions on voting by mail in federal elections, over the objections of the minority?
“My support for retaining the 60-vote threshold is not based on the importance of any particular policy. It is based on what is best for our democracy,” the Arizona Democrat said, adding, “[t]he filibuster compels moderation and helps protect the country from wild swings between opposing policy poles.”
The Democrat-led White House gives Democrats the edge in the 50-50 split Senate, meaning they need to get 10 Republicans on board to make their radical agenda items — from free community college to a sweeping Green New Deal-esque agenda — a reality. President Joe Biden has dubbed such agenda items as “human infrastructure” and has promised he will not sign an infrastructure deal without an additional funding package with entitlements.
“I control that. If they don’t come, I’m not signing it. Real simple,” Biden told reporters last week.
Similarly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) warned last week that she would effectively blow up the infrastructure deal if the Senate does not pair it with a reconciliation bill allowing the left to pass Democrat agenda items without the threat of a GOP filibuster.
“It’s as I said. There won’t be an infrastructure bill unless we have a reconciliation bill, plain and simple.… There ain’t going to be an infrastructure bill unless we have the reconciliation bill passed by the United States Senate,” the 81-year-old speaker said, earning a thumbs up from Ocasio-Cortez:
However, some moderate Democrats have signaled they will not support the radical left’s spending package, which could spell trouble for Pelosi, given the Democrats’ narrow majority in the lower chamber.