Speed Reads

parliamentary procedure

Senate Republicans aren't too interested in eliminating the filibuster

GOP senators seem to have little interest in eliminating the filibuster to suppress Democratic dissent, The Hill reports. While Democrats successfully abolished the filibuster for most presidential nominations in 2013, Republicans are wary of likewise "going nuclear" for Senate actions more broadly.

"I think most Republicans understand that the Senate is not an institution to impose the majority's will on the country," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). "It's the one institution in the country that's capable of developing consensus." Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) agrees. "If we didn't have the filibuster the minority would be nothing in this country," he recently said in a radio interview. "It would be just like the House where 51 percent vote does everything."

Other Republican senators — including Bob Corker (Tenn.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Mike Lee (Utah), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) — have indicated their support for filibuster retention, and no senators have stepped up to lead a push for change. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has kept silent on the question but, The Hill notes, "is widely considered an institutionalist loath to change Senate rules."