AFA Action Urges ‘Nuking’ Filibuster Rule
Rob Chambers Writes in New Daily Caller Op-Ed That Voters Are Fed Up with a Stalled Conservative Agenda; Chambers Part of ‘Drain the Swamp’ Panel This Weekend at Values Voter Summit
TUPELO, Miss.—With a Republican Senate, House and White House, advancing a conservative agenda should be a somewhat smooth process. But the 60-vote filibuster rule is preventing this agenda from seeing the light of day, and both parties are to blame, says AFA Action (www.afaaction.net), the governmental affairs affiliate of the American Family Association.
AFA Action Vice President Rob Chambers writes in a new op-ed for the Daily Caller today that voters are fed up—fed up that they chose a presidential candidate who constituted an utter repudiation of the Washington political establishment, but realizing that too many candidates chant the conservative mantra during campaigns, only to embrace the agenda of the Swamp once they get to Washington.
“Despite Trump’s victory,” Chambers wrote, “the establishmentarians are still prevailing on issues that fuel the passions of the grassroots—controlling illegal immigration, defunding Planned Parenthood, decentralizing education policy-making, appointing judges and repealing Obamacare, to mention a few. Even if good legislation passes the House, it dies in the Senate.”
As an example, Chambers noted, in 2015, Congress introduced a pro-life bill banning abortions after 20 weeks. It passed the House along party lines, but the bill failed in the Senate because of minority Democratic opposition. Even though a majority of Republican senators (54-42) voted to advance the legislation for debate, Democratic obstructionists killed the bill by preventing the bill from reaching a supermajority of 60 votes.
“Last week, the House introduced this same pro-life bill banning abortion after 20 weeks,” Chambers wrote. “However, the bill is almost certain to have the same fate as it did two years ago. Why? Because 30 establishmentarian Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), are in favor of keeping the filibuster rule.”
The filibuster, Senate Rule 22, is known as invoking “cloture” and requires 60 votes to advance legislation for consideration and to end debate.
“Although Senate Republican leadership will blame the Democrats for blocking the 20-week abortion ban,” Chambers said, “what the GOP leadership refuses to admit is that they have the votes to set aside the 60-vote rule in favor of a simple majority vote. The Senate Republican majority has the potential to live up to the GOP pro-life platform, but 30 Senate Republicans insist on choosing rules and sacrificing the opportunity to save unborn lives. This Republican hypocrisy and Democratic obstruction must end now.
“And what about the argument that the filibuster allows necessary debate on important issues?” he concluded. “The short answer is, no it doesn’t. The filibuster is no longer about debate at all, because ‘filibusters’ occur offstage—with not a syllable spoken. Let’s get back to the representative government envisioned by our Founders. End the filibuster.”
Chambers went on to provide a history of the filibuster rule in his op-ed. Read the entire Daily Caller editorial here.