- The Washington Times - Friday, April 5, 2019

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Friday called for the end of the filibuster in Senate, saying it would clear the path for an ambitious far-left agenda if her party takes the White House.

“For generations the filibuster has been used to block progress, and in recent years, obstruction in the Senate has only gotten worse,” she tweeted. “We’re fighting for big, structural change — but we won’t get anything done unless we face this head on.”

Her call to end the Senate’s 60-vote threshold needed to advance most legislation came two days after Senate Republicans triggered the so-called nuclear option, easing the rules to speed up confirmation of President Trump’s appointees.

“I’ve watched Republicans abuse the rules when they’re out of power, then turn around and blow off the rules when they’re in power. We just saw it happen again this week when they unilaterally changed the same rules they abused to ram through President Trump’s extreme nominees,” she said.

The filibuster has been slowly eroding for years. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid first nuked the filibuster rule in 2013, when his party was in charge, to force through President Obama’s nominees.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in 2017, with his party at the helm, expanded the rule change to end the filibuster of Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominees.

Most Senate Democrats condemned the move by Republicans to further chip away at the filibuster, which is the minority party’s chief weapon to shape legislation or prevent the majority from forcing through its agenda.

But Ms. Warren isn’t alone in worrying that even if Democrats sweep into power in 2020, Republicans will be able to stifle ambitious goals such as the Green New Deal or Medicare for All.

Ms. Warren is running on promises to crack down on Wall Street and corporate America, including giving workers the power to select 40 percent of their employer’s corporate boards.

“We’re done with having two sets of rules. When Democrats have the White House again, if Mitch McConnell continues to put small-minded partisanship ahead of solving the massive problems facing our country, then we should get rid of the filibuster,” Ms. Warren said.

Marissa Barrow, a spokeswoman for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee that has endorsed Ms. Warren for president, said that ending the filibuster is a smart legislative strategy.

“Filibuster reform is part of Elizabeth Warren’s strategy to pass bold progressive priorities like universal child care, affordable housing, breaking up monopolies, a wealth tax on ultra millionaires, and anti-corruption and pro-voting rights laws,” she said. “Warren is forcing the entire field to follow her lead on bold structural changes that will unrig and uncorrupt the system so it works for everyday Americans.”

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