By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, May 30, 2017, President Donald J. Trump (R) tweeted that “The US Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!”
US Mo Brooks (AL-05) released a statement supporting President Trump’s call to end the filibuster rule in the United States Senate. Brooks said in a press release that ending the archaic filibuster rule is key to implementing President Trump’s agenda, passing healthcare and tax reform legislation, balancing budgets, properly deliberating and passing spending bills, and ending the cycle of threatened government shutdowns.
Congressman Brooks said, “President Trump is right to call for the end of the Senate filibuster rule. I have been a vocal opponent of this archaic and obstructionist rule which empowers a small minority (41 percent) of the Senate to thwart the will of a majority of the House, a majority of the Senate, the President, and those Americans who elected those Congressmen, Senators and Presidents. As was proven by the recent Supreme Court justice filibuster rule change, and Harry Reid’s ‘Nuclear Option’ effort of a few years ago, the Senate filibuster rule can be changed by a mere majority of senators. I urge the Republican Senate majority to act on the will of the American people and repeal the filibuster rule in accord with President Trump’s request.”
Brooks added, “The Senate filibuster rule is outdated, obstructionist, and impedes progress. There is no statute or provision in the Constitution that supports a filibuster. Rather, the filibuster is an accidental creation of an 1806 Senate rules change. Decades later, astute senators figured out that the 1806 rule change empowered a minority of senators to thwart the will of the majority and kill legislation. The House of Representatives has no such rule and there is no policy reason that justifies the Senate being any different.”
Brooks concluded, “As a direct and indirect result of the filibuster rule in the 114th Congress, 543 bills that passed the House never even reached a Senate floor vote, thereby discarding the work of the House and betraying the will of American voters. I stand with President Trump. It is time to defeat the archaic filibuster rule to have a chance of implementing the Trump agenda, passing healthcare and tax reform legislation, balancing budgets, properly deliberating and passing spending bills, and ending the cycle of threatened government shutdowns.”
The filibuster rule means that is take a 60 vote super majority for the Senate to shut off debate. It is intended to mean that only things with a broad consensus actually gets passed into law. Increasingly it just means the Senate gets nothing done. Democrats changed the rules in 2013 so that it only takes 51 votes to confirm most judicial nominees. In March Republicans expanded that to include Supreme Court Justices with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch. Democrats have been using the filibuster and a number of Senate rules to slow and stall the Republican agenda. Rule changes have the potential to allow the majority to push whatever they want through the Senate without having to reach across the aisle to Senate Democrats.
Congressman Brooks is running for the U.S. Senate seat vacated when Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) was confirmed as US Attorney General. Brooks currently represents Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District.
Ten Republicans are running for the US Senate race as Republicans. According to the Alabama Republican Party, the following individuals submitted qualifying paperwork to run for the US Senate seat: James Paul Beretta, Joseph F. Breault, Randy Brinson, Mo Brooks, Dom Gentile, Mary Maxwell, Roy Moore, Bryan Peeples, Trip Pittman, and Luther Strange.
Karen Haiden Jackson was disqualified by the Alabama Republican Party because she had run as an independent in a judicial race last year.
Eight candidates qualified with the Alabama Democratic Party to run in the US Senate Special Primary Election. Qualified candidates are Will Boyd, Vann Caldwell, Jason Fisher, Michael Hansen, Doug Jones, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Brian McGee, and Nana Tchienkou.
The special major party primaries are on August 15. The Special General Election will be on December 12, 2017.