Can Democrats destroy the filibuster?

Can Democrats destroy the filibuster? 1


A growing number of voices on the liberal left, now including Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (the body’s No. 2 highest-ranking member), believe it’s time to jettison the Senate’s legislative filibuster. In this latest episode of The Point, CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains why these lawmakers think the time has finally come.


It is time once again to explain what the filibuster is and isn’t

Senate goes for 'nuclear option'

Senate GOP triggers nuclear option to break Democratic filibuster on Gorsuch

Manchin calls 'bulls—' on Democrats' push to eliminate Senate filibuster

House passes gun legislation that would expand background checks

House passes sweeping election bill that would counter GOP efforts to restrict voter access

Mitch McConnell warns Democrats that overhauling filibuster rules will lead to 'completely scorched earth Senate'

About me:
I was named "best dressed" in 7th grade. That, along with being CNN's editor at large and author of the daily "Point" newsletter are my proudest achievements. Look for me here every Tuesday and Thursday to find out what’s really going down in politics.

Writer: Chris Cillizza
Producer: Allison Gordon
The Point Editor: Leigh Munsil
Video Editor: Michelle Cho

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55 Comments on "Can Democrats destroy the filibuster?"

  1. Do you think Congress should abolish the filibuster? – Chris

  2. Make ’em stand up and speak.. That’s their only job.

  3. The thumbnail… “FIBUS LITER”

  4. Church 'O' Freedom | March 18, 2021 at 11:44 AM | Reply

    The most loveable nerd I’ve ever seen good hire CNN.

  5. Pat Underhill | March 18, 2021 at 11:57 AM | Reply

    Reform it back to “talking filibuster” with today’s technology how would it not be covered by media & social media!

  6. Thank you for explaining. I never really understood that part of the political process in the US (I live in Switzerland where a similar thing does not exist). I’m still not sure if I completely get it, but I’m closer.

    • Jayne Berkley | March 19, 2021 at 1:37 PM | Reply

      It’s changed from what it supposed to be, and I think Biden will change it, and I don’t see much getting passed if something isn’t done, we are lucky the U.K. has a simple majority rule.

  7. pinco pallino | March 18, 2021 at 1:00 PM | Reply

    Democracy is NOT the power of the minority.
    Example: South Africa was not a democracy before abolishment of apartheid!!

  8. I agree with a talking filibuster. The minority shouldn’t just be able to send an email and end discussion of any piece of legislature.

    • Ideally, I say get rid of the filibuster but, at the very least, reinstate the talking filibuster. Although, I believe that if they somehow got rid of the filibuster, Manchin and Sinema would oppose every Democrat bill out of spite

    • Philip Simmonds | March 21, 2021 at 5:39 PM | Reply

      So yeah, this a losing battle from the start.

    • FinalLugiaGuardian | March 24, 2021 at 9:11 PM | Reply

      @Philip Simmonds I think that might be why Biden is already talking about doing a lot of his party’s agenda by executive action instead.

    • Tony Bobulinski | March 26, 2021 at 9:34 AM | Reply

      @FinalLugiaGuardian Don’t capitalize biden.

  9. What does holding the floor mean- when some use it to read (badly) Dr. Seuss books?

  10. The problem with McConnel’s “scorched earth” threat, is that as a worst case scenario, it’s no worse that it’s been since 2014, that is, nothing would ever get done, and the Senate would once again be the place where bills go to die. Big deal.

    • Christine Benson | March 18, 2021 at 9:03 PM | Reply

      No, only bills that try to give Americans progress and rights die. Tax cuts for the wealthy will always be given floor time.

      Not a fun fact: last year the House passed a bill to combat anti-Asian discrimination and violence. Republicans didn’t vote for it because, get this, it was a way for the Democrats to get at Trump. The logic isn’t with the Republican party anymore.

  11. Martín Gtz Q | March 18, 2021 at 6:06 PM | Reply

    The cover: FIBUS LITER
    Me: “uh?”

  12. I just like the idea of forcing Mitch or any other snakes in the senate like him to have to stand for hours. I don’t think Mitch’s legs can handle those hours lol.

    • Thɑт Spοk | March 20, 2021 at 4:31 PM | Reply

      @xAlpaca Zeu Yes, I remember. Do you remember Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?

    • Thɑт Spοk | March 20, 2021 at 4:48 PM | Reply

      @Soupy Anderson Was that on CNN again?

    • Jeanie Lawrence | March 20, 2021 at 6:35 PM | Reply

      What about someone like veteran Senator Tammy Duckworth? If standing is a requirement, then she would never be able to run a filibuster, and her voice would not be heard.

      The other option would be to only allow people with two good legs to run for Senate, but I’d rather choose my representative for his/her brain and ideas, not the quality of his/her legs.

      There are other ways to modify the filibuster than to make it a standing, talking filibuster which wastes everyone’s time. I have written about it in other comments, but you can google “modify the filibuster” for a few different plans.

    • Deana Margarita | March 22, 2021 at 2:06 PM | Reply

      @Jeanie Lawrence they get paid a lot of money. So there’s no matter of time they shouldn’t be working for American people. They need to be reminded that. They seem to think they’re just there to skate their paycheck into their bank accounts and they’re so damn greedy Bc they make way too much money for public servants. I mean if they have a law degree or PhD ok but Lauren boebert with her fresh ged!!! No!! It’s disgusting to me who went to college and still have gotten no stimulus checks.

    • Deana Margarita | March 22, 2021 at 2:09 PM | Reply

      @Jeanie Lawrence more to the point. They should not be so self interested. They should not even be discussing the filibuster as a tool to harm Americans. But I wouldn’t be opposed to ending it while the democrats have the power Bc we can see the reps are greedy and care for money more than anything. They have no hearts and they literally has lit half the country w a side show hustler.

  13. Either nuke the damn thing or make it a talking filibuster. As Joe Manchin said: A filibuster should be PAINFUL.

  14. McConnell has been going “scorched earth” ever since he vowed to make Obama a 1-term president over a decade ago. Any Democrat worried about McConnell’s threat is too weak for politics.

  15. I live in the Philippines, I never really understood how it’s possible that the country of democracy can let the minority keep the majority hostage

    • Because a mob is a dangerous thing. Majority doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to principles, virtue, and common moral law.

    • @Texas scifi then that isnt democracy

    • @druid139 fair fair, but theres got to be some other way, literally the only thing that stops it from becoming law is talking about it for days

    • specific mnm?ml

    • @Sebastian m then it would take another 100 years to actually make progress, just like how you all did with the civil war and the civil rights act, well i guess progress is still progress, no matter the amount of stagnation, last question, where does it truly go? governance in the united states i mean

  16. Like the GOP wouldnt do that even without the dems ending the filibuster.

  17. I’d call McConnell’s bluff. The last thing Republicans want to do is go on the record and vote for legislation. Running on a record is tough, especially when you vote for unpopular legislation.

    • agreed, its a bullshit argument…for that reason and also because if democrats actually passed super popular legislation and prevent voter suppression, they stand a very good chance of staying in power

    • Tony Bobulinski | March 26, 2021 at 7:50 AM | Reply

      @WTFunk100 That’s their whole plan.

    • @Tony Bobulinski And there is nothing wrong with that. If every legal citizen of the US was able to vote (or made it easier to vote like not being required to stand in line for 12+ hours) then the Dems would win every election with ease. The GOP depends on voter suppression laws in order to cling on to power. That is why the Georgia GOP is now suddenly changing it voter laws because they were shocked to see that a very red state like theirs could go blue which can at some point flip the power of the State house and senate.

    • Tony Bobulinski | March 26, 2021 at 6:01 PM | Reply

      @gijs _k Georgia was the most corrupt situation of the last rigged election.

  18. Yellowsnow69420 | March 20, 2021 at 2:13 PM | Reply

    They already can’t get anything done, have “scorched” the senate floor, and republicans never keep their word like when they said no Supreme Court confirmations before an election. The threats they are making would hardly change anything.

    • YouTube Moderator | March 24, 2021 at 8:43 AM | Reply

      No. One party rule spending trillions of borrowed China money will be great!

    • Yellowsnow69420 | March 24, 2021 at 1:30 PM | Reply

      @YouTube Moderator what do you think we’ve been doing for the last 20 years? No bipartisanship. Trillions borrowed from China. And we still have nothing to show for it.

  19. Payton McDermott | March 24, 2021 at 3:01 AM | Reply

    I love that McConnells threat is to actually govern the way he tells his voters he will every election year.

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