Durbin: Republicans Have Beaten the Filibuster to the Point it is Hardly Recognizable

Durbin reiterates his support for reform of the filibuster, including the use of the ‘talking filibuster’

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today once again voiced his support for reform of the filibuster.  Durbin argued that as filibusters and threatened filibusters have increased in recent decades—especially under Senator McConnell’s leadership—real debate and bipartisan cooperation has plummeted.  From 1917 to 1970, the Senate took 49 votes to break filibusters – fewer than one each year.  Since 2010, it has taken the Senate, on average, more than 80 votes each year to end filibusters.   

“They [Republicans] have beaten the old filibuster to the point where it is hardly recognizable and it is now regular order of business in the United States Senate.  And that’s why many of us, frustrated with having worked so hard to come here, wanting to do the best we can to represent the people who sent us here, are so frustrated by the current state of procedure,” Durbin said.  “And for Senator McConnell and other Republicans to come to the floor and plead for hanging on to this tradition is actually pleading for the Senate to continue to do less and less each year.  There are those of us now in control of the majority side… who really believe there is much more to be done in the Senate.  The American people expect us to respond.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations. 

Yesterday, Durbin voiced his support for reform of the filibuster and called on his colleagues to join him in this effort.