Senate Democrats Filibuster Support Status

Democratic Caucus Filibuster Reform Tally
Talking Filibuster2048
Democratic Caucus on Filibuster Reform
SenatorRules Membership?Views on the FilibusterSpecific Reform Endorsement?Recent Statements (last 6 months)
Tammy BaldwinSupport Changes“Recently, the threat of filibuster has been used far too often and as a result political obstructionism in the United States Senate is now worse than it has ever been. The people of Wisconsin and our state’s progressive tradition deserve better.” (2013)
Richard BlumenthalSupport Changes“I think we ought to end the filibuster, unquestionably. It is an obstacle to conquering the pandemic and reviving the economy, getting stuff done.” (January)
Sherrod BrownSupport ChangesRepeal“We’ve got to eliminate the filibuster.” (October)
Ben CardinSupport Changes“The trade off is to make it easier to proceed to legislation versus guaranteed amendments and debate on the floor but preserving a broader consensus to move bills at the end. That would be significant.” (January)
Bob CaseySupport Changes“Yes, absolutely. And look, major changes to the filibuster for someone like me would not have been on the agenda, even a few years ago. But the senate does not work like it used to.” (March)
Martin HeinrichSupport Changes“The sort of filibuster usage we see makes it impossible to do some very basic things that the American people demanded of us.” (Last week)
Amy KlobucharChairSupport ChangesRepeal“I would get rid of the filibuster. I have favored filibuster reform for a long time and now especially for this critical election bill.” (Last week)
Ben Ray LujanSupport Changes“My constituents supported me knowing that I support filibuster reform. And so I’m going to come here and hope that that’s a tool that we can use.” (Last week)
Ed MarkeySupport ChangesRepeal“The filibuster must go. It’s something that’s rooted in a racist past, and it’s used today as a way of blocking the progressive agenda which President Biden is proposing — [including] environmental justice, racial justice, economic justice.” (February)
Jeff MerkleyMemberSupport Changes“We’ve got to work very hard to restore the ability of the Senate to work as a legislative body and take on the big issues facing America.” (January)
Chris MurphySupport Changes“My hope is that we’ll be able to have a conversation about rules reform. I think we’re all interested in making sure Joe Biden’s agenda has a shot in the Senate. And let’s figure out ways that we can make sure that the minority doesn’t control the place every single day.” (January)
Alex PadillaMemberSupport ChangesRepeal“I’m in favor of abolishing the filibuster. There are a couple Democratic senators who have said they are not there yet. If we continue to see obstruction from our Republican colleagues as we saw through this covid relief package, I think the patience is going to wear thin, even on moderate Democrats. But we will see.” (Sunday)
Bernie Sanders (I)Support Changes“We must pass a comprehensive agenda to guarantee the rights and dignity of everyone in this country. And that means, among other things, reauthorizing and expanding the Voting Rights Act, for which Congressman John Lewis put his life on the line. As President Obama said, if that requires us to eliminate the filibuster, then that is what we must do.” (July)
Brian SchatzSupport ChangesRepeal“The filibuster was never in the constitution, originated mostly by accident, and has historically been used to block civil rights. No legislatures on earth have a supermajority requirement because that’s stupid and paralyzing. It’s time to trash the Jim Crow filibuster.” (February)
Jeanne ShaheenSupport Changes“I think we need to change the filibuster rule in the Senate. It’s an arcane process. I don’t think we should have every vote require 60 in order to get something done.” (2014)
Tina SmithSupport Changes“I’ve made up my mind. We need to move this country forward, and that’s why I’ve decided to come out in support of eliminating the filibuster.” (Last week)
Chris Van HollenSupport Changes“Americans should not be robbed of a living wage by archaic Senate rules and procedures — including the filibuster. We must increase the minimum wage, and I’ll keep pushing until we get it done.” (February)
Raphael WarnockSupport ChangesHinted at Carve Outs"The attack on voting rights right now is so urgent, that all options must be on the table, the very soil and foundation of our democracy. Those of us who believe in democracy have to stand up and say this will not stand."
Elizabeth WarrenSupport Changes“We are willing to roll back the filibuster, go with the majority vote and do what needs to be done for the American people.” (February)
Sheldon WhitehouseSupport Changes“You can’t have a situation in which Senate rules and traditions and norms all get broken when one side is in power and then they get to blow the whistle when the other side does the same thing. But that’s not a promise of what we are going to do. That’s just a warning to Republicans that if they want the Senate to be that way, keep acting the way you’re acting, but if you want it to be a little bit more normal then you’re gonna have to be a little bit more normal.”
Ron WydenSupport Changes“I am not going to let Mitch McConnell stonewall the ability to meet the urgent needs of the American people through procedural kinds of approaches that just tie the place in knots.” (January)
Cory BookerOpen to Changes“You have to understand that a lot of these that are talked about: If we do it when we have the control to do it, they can do it again. What we need to find is real solutions that are sustainable regardless of who is president. We should be careful about the traditions in this country and how we honor them.” (March 2019)
Michael BennetOpen to Changes“If people continue for their own political reasons to make it impossible for the majority to exercise its will, filibuster reform may have to be on the table.” (September)
Tom CarperOpen to Changes“If Republicans still think climate change is a hoax and won’t play ball, and they take the ball and go back to their court, we’ll find other ways to proceed,” Still hopes to seek bipartisan policies where able.
Chris CoonsOpen to Changes“I don’t think the first, second or third thing we do is have some debate about rules changes, because the president-elect was clear throughout his campaign he will try to work across the aisle and to bring the country together. And I expect that we will do that first and then see.” (January)
Catherine Cortez MastoOpen to ChangesTalking filibuster“McConnell is determined to exploit the filibuster and fight progress on the most urgent crises facing our nation and if he wants to block action on health care, climate change, and voting rights, he should have to stand on the Senate floor and be transparent about his obstruction.” (This week)
Tammy DuckworthOpen to Changes“I’m willing to work and compromise with my Republican colleagues. But at the end of the day, if they’re going to be obstructionist and not allow us to get those priorities that I listed out the door to help the American people, then everything is on the table as far as I’m concerned.” (February)
Dick DurbinOpen to Changes“Unfortunately, we’ve reached that point. And if enough members in the Senate agree, we’ll change the rules.” (This month)
Kirsten GillibrandOpen to Changes“I’m of the view that we should eliminate the filibuster despite all the risks. ... [W]e can have a period of time to see if they’re willing to negotiate in good faith and willing to not hold common-sense things up and not have lots of party line votes. If that’s possible, then maybe we can govern with the filibuster, but if they start jamming us on basic things like covid relief, then that may change Sen. Schumer’s view.” (January)
John HickenlooperOpen to Changes“If push comes to shove, I have to look at everything.” (September)
Mazie HironoOpen to Changes“There was a time when I did not support a filibuster change, because the filibuster is supposed to protect the voices of the minorities. We’re in the minority. I don’t think our voices are being protected, so I’m open to that discussion, but it won’t happen unless the Democrats take back the Senate.” (October)
Tim KaineOpen to Changes“I’m very open to it. Look, I was governor of a state with two legislatures and everything is operated by simple majority. It works fine.” (June)
Angus King (I)MemberOpen to Changes“Right now, we don’t know whether it will be abused. If they’re going to use it to obstruct absolutely everything, then I’m prepared to change my mind.” (January)
Joe ManchinOpen to ChangesTalking Filibuster“The Senate is the most unique … governing body in the world. It’s deliberate. It’s basically designed, Chuck, to make sure the minority has input. That’s exactly our Founding Fathers. And now if you want to make it a little bit more painful, make him stand there and talk, I’m willing to look at any way we can. But I’m not willing to take away the involvement of the minority.” (Sunday)
Patty MurrayOpen to Changes“I’m not interested in watching Sen. McConnell or Senate Republicans keep us from acting if we have the chance.” (October)
Jon OssofMemberOpen to ChangesIndicated openness in an interview. (September 2019)
Gary PetersOpen to ChangesIndicated openness in an interview. (August)
Chuck SchumerMemberOpen to Changes“We have a moral imperative to the people of America to get a whole lot done if we get the majority, which, God willing, we will, and keep it in the House, and Biden becomes president, and nothing is off the table. We will do what it takes to get this done.” (August)
Debbie StabenowOpen to ChangesHinted at Carveouts“There are really important things like voting rights that can’t be done through reconciliation.” (Last week)
Jon TesterOpen to Changes“I think the filibuster’s very important, and I think it makes for better legislation, and I still believe that. I still support the filibuster, but, like I said, we’ll see what happens with the other side. Who knows what’s going to happen?” (September)
Dianne FeinsteinMemberSkeptical of Changes“I think the filibuster serves a purpose. It is not often used, it’s often less used now than when I first came, and I think it’s part of the Senate that differentiates itself.” (September)
Mark KellySkeptical of Changes“Bipartisanship is really important to me. I think it’s important to Arizonans, too. We just want to make the place work.” (January)
Pat LeahyMemberSkeptical of Changes“What I hear over and over again from senators is not the question of the filibuster but: Why don’t we have votes on anything? I’d like to vote things up or vote them down.” (November 2019)
Jack ReedSkeptical of Changes“The filibuster is not in the Constitution nor the original Senate rules, but we have a bicameral system for a reason and this legislative tool serves a critical purpose in ensuring the functioning of our democratic republic. Yes, it sometimes slows the process down, and some have abused or subverted it. But it remains an important part in our system of checks and balances.” (2017)
Jacky RosenSkeptical of Changes“I think we should keep the filibuster. It’s one of the few things that we have left in order to let all of the voices be heard here in the Senate.” (November 2019)
Kyrsten SinemaSkeptical of Changes“Retaining the legislative filibuster is not meant to impede the things we want to get done. Rather, it’s meant to protect what the Senate was designed to be. I believe the Senate has a responsibility to put politics aside and fully consider, debate, and reach compromise on legislative issues that will affect all Americans. Therefore, I support the 60-vote threshold for all Senate actions. Debate on bills should be a bipartisan process that takes into account the views of all Americans, not just those of one political party.” (February)
Mark WarnerMemberSkeptical of Changes“I said during my rehiring process last year, I said it would take an awful, awful lot for me to end the filibuster. I don’t think that we ought to be coming in willy-nilly and changing the rules. … I would also expect my Republican colleagues not to come in with a single mantra the way they did under Obama, which is, ‘Let’s make this president unsuccessful.’ They want to work with Joe Biden. I think we ought to keep the rules.” (January)
Maria CantwellUnclear/ non-recent supportIn 2012 had pledged to "work to change filibuster rules" in her third term. No public comments more recently
Maggie HassanUnclearEssentially no information on her stance
Bob MenendezUnclearRegarding Supreme Court nominations in 2017: He said it would move the Senate one step closer to being like the House, where the majority has almost complete control over the agenda. "I would hate for the Senate just to be a majority institution across the board." That being said, in 2013, Menendez voted to end the filibuster for lower court nominations and cabinet positions.
Reform Proposals: In Order of Feasibility and Effectiveness
ProposalDetails Efficacy Viability
Carve OutsDemocrats can argue that certain issues are not politically controversial and rather are critical to the future of the American democracy, the planet, our internal infrastructure needs, or in solving a growing inequality crisis. 'Democracy carveout' for HR1, 4. 'Must pass carveout' for pressing issues like climate change or infrastructure.Would be extremely effective in passing individual pieces of legislation without entirely upheaving Senate procedures. Would set precedent for an undivided governing party to pass bills with 50 votes that fall within legislative carveout categories.Very much on the table, being discussed by many democrats who are considered in the middle on this issue. Discussion of voting rights/democracy form, or other types of must pass bills in carve outs are gaining steam.
Lower the Filibuster ThresholdThere is precedent, when in 1975 the filibuster threshold was lowered from 67 to 60. This could be lowered further, to say 55, in an effort to maintain aspects of bipartisanship while recognizing the realities of political gridlock and obstructionism.Most effective option for less partisan issues like voting rights, infrastructure, minimum wage increases. Would encourage bipartisanship and reward power of moderate Republicans in the short term.Somewhat viable, being discussed in abstract by some members. Has been done with judicial nominations in 2013 and 2017.
No Filibustering Motions to Proceed, Update Previous Question Rules, Limit Debate TimeAs procedure currently dictates, a supermajority is required to even begin debate (motion to proceed) on a legislative measure. This would at least allow for debate on legislative matters, but preserve the minority's ability to block legislation from the majority. Reforming 'previous question' calls and limiting debate time would make the filibuster process shorter and encourage voting on bills that would otherwise die before debate.Could be somewhat effective in cleaning up the filibuster process and eliminating the blanket threat of filibuster. Majority party could have a reasonable period of debate and move to vote on far more bills. Would give the public more clarity into Senate proceedings and member voting patterns. But would likely not change the outcome of one-sided legislation. Could come into play for universal background checks, voting rights, infrastructure, raising wages etc.Has not been discussed nearly as much, but could certainly pick up steam as a solid middle ground between the much-discussed talking filibuster and more substantial reform. Would add benefit without "going too far" in the eyes of Republicans.
41 to BlockDistinct from talking filibuster. Instead of requiring 60 votes to pass a bill, you'd put the pressure on the minority (blocking) party to be present with 41 nay votes on every piece of legislation it wants to block. In line with making the filibuster more painful but would include a return to the present-and-voting standard forcing 41 Republicans to remain on the floor making the case against the majority, around the clock for every bill they intend to oppose.Could be somewhat effective. Rather than making it look painful, this would actually make the filibuster process painful for most of the minority. Would mean members could not simply call in to threaten filibuster, but would actually be forced to be present on the floor. This might not bring about serious changes, as some rotation system would be put in place and the minority would still block larger legislation. But it would disgruntle Senators for not being able to leave DC as much. Might attract more media attention to obstructionism, influence popular opinion on bills, make more bills be debated on and brought to vote.More viable than talking filibuster, I think strategists will soon inform folks like Biden and Manchin that this is more effective than the talking filibuster but has similar concepts in place.
Talking FilibusterRather than repeal the filibuster altogether when voting on legislation, this would re-introduce some of the filibuster's original characteristics. Would force minority party to speak for a longer period of time in defense of opposition, eliminating the ability to shadow threaten a filibuster. Need to do the work to kill a bill.Not very effective. Would slow Senate proceedings even more so, shine light on political gridlock, and still leaves room for coalition of minority senators to filter in and out of talking. Only benefit is forcing minority members to be present if opposition and spotlight those opposed to 'popular will.'Being discussed by Biden, Machin, other more moderate D's. More likely a surface level threat than a long term strategy for passing Biden's agenda.
Repeal the Filibuster AltogetherTotal repeal of the filibuster in Senate proceedings on legislation. Idea here is to free up a legislative body considered responsible for stagnating progress and stymieing popular will. Would give the undivided government majority immense legislative power.Would be extremely effective in passing progressive legislation for Democrats. But if Republicans were to gain absolute power in 4 or 8 years, this would come back to bite Democrats substantially. Opening door to complete zero sum game of partisan politics.Not viable, this would be seens as a dramatic move by Democrats to take advantage of short term power. Does not have the votes for this kind of rule change.