The Filibuster Needs to be Preserved

Count me out when it comes to repeal of the legislative filibuster. I don’t think there is support on either side of the aisle to do that in the Senate and for those who keep bringing it up as an obstacle to Obamacare repeal, I would note that the GOP cannot get 50 of its own senators to agree. Sixty is not even an issue right now.

I realize there is no trust on either side and both sides think the other is ready at any moment to abandon the legislative filibuster, having seen the nominations filibuster eradicated. I do not think that is the case. And frankly, the filibuster is the last line of defense conservatives have against big government.

As we are seeing in the Senate with the failure to repeal Obamacare, there are always enough votes to grow government. There are always enough votes for a new government entitlement. But rarely are there votes to withstand the growth of government. That is why the filibuster must remain. It is the last line of defense.

If the Democrats took back power and scuttled it, it is not like they would not have willing and able accomplices within the GOP to help their big government agenda. Until then, it is a tool for people like Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and others to stall, delay, and make the growth of government difficult.

I actually doubt the Democrats would repeal it if only because they repealed the nominations filibuster and are seeing the consequences of its repeal with Neil Gorsuch. Likewise, they see the GOP unable to do anything with fifty votes and the filibuster need not even be deployed right now.

Without the filibuster, it is true, the GOP could probably cobble together a plan to alter Obamacare without the reconciliation rules, but it would not be much different from their present attempt. But with the filibuster, conservatives have a way to halt both parties advancing an anti-individual agenda that grows government.

President Trump is blaming the filibuster for a failure to repeal Obamacare. He should not. The failure is with a Senate Republican conference that lied to voters when they never thought they would have to keep their promises.

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Erick Erickson

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