It happens every time one political party is in power. Someone always wants to change the rules to favor their position or to get their political way.

The Republican have tried it in the past when more than half of the current Senate Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris signed a 2017 letter supporting the filibuster when the Republicans were in control. This time, it’s the Democrats who want to get rid of the legislative filibuster in order to pass a national voting rights bill. That bill is stalled, as is the president’s Build Back Better legislation.

The Senate is intended to be slow-moving and deliberate, where laws are scrutinized, debated and passed after a consensus is reached. It was set up to be a balance to the House of Representatives where the majority rules. Because of a rule called the “filibuster,” bills in the Senate need 60 votes out of the 100 to become law. Because neither party usually controls 60 seats, it means the majority party needs to convince a few members of the other side to vote for the law. The result is that laws passing the Senate need more cooperation and bipartisan support.

Of course, bipartisan support is getting harder and harder to come by, but it’s still important to have that gatekeeping mechanism to make sure that laws that are passed are reasonable and thoughtful. Added to that is that the voters did not provide one political party a big majority in the Senate. It’s not correct to believe there is some kind of voter mandate for Democratic progressive ideas when the Senate is split 50-50.

There’s no way the federal voting rights bill is going to reach 60 yea votes, so President Joe Biden and Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are putting on the pressure to change the rules and eliminate the filibuster, despite having just the opposite opinion when Republicans held the Senate.

Just as in 2017, it’s time for the Democrats and Republicans to join together in the commitment to not destroy the legislative filibuster. While some who don’t get their way may see the filibuster as obstructionist, the wisdom of the rule proves more prudent with every election. It protects the voice of the minority and allows for responsible debate, not rubber stamping.

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