What the Senate Filibuster Assault Means

Washington wisdom once held that while Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema were the public faces of Democratic reluctance to breaking the Senate filibuster, others in the caucus quietly supported the duo. But on Wednesday night, 48 out of 50 Senate Democrats voted to use the “nuclear option” in an attempt to overturn election laws in most states.

That means the partisan abolition of the Senate’s 60-vote requirement for most legislation is no longer an abstraction. It’s an institutional Democratic Party position—a trigger that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has committed to pull as soon as he has 50 votes and a co-partisan as Vice President. Democrats may have failed to ram their legislation through this week, but they have changed the nature of the U.S. Senate merely by trying to make it a majoritarian body for the first time. The fallout should start in this year’s midterms in competitive states.


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