To watch Senator Capito’s remarks, click here or the image above.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today joined a group of her colleagues to oppose attempts by Senate Democrats to use the “nuclear option” to radically change the Senate’s filibuster rules and abolish the 60-vote threshold when considering legislation.
ON THE DEMOCRATS’ THINLY VEILED POWER GRAB: “This is more than just about one issue. This is about fundamentally changing the fabric, the fence that the Senate provides, by having the filibuster in place to make sure that we don't have the dramatic swings from administration to administration, from the majority to minority, Republican to Democrat, and that we keep the ship sort of going in the right direction and working together at the same time.”
HYPOCRISY OF DEMOCRATS ON FILIBUSTER POSITION: “First of all, the hypocrisy…the statements…from Senator Schumer, Senator Durbin, Senator Coons and others, saying there's no way they would ever vote to break the filibuster. And here we are today with them eating their words. So that's hypocritical at the face of it.”
ELIMINATING FILIBUSTER ENDS BIPARTISANSHIP: “Supposedly, this is going to have more impact on bipartisanship. We're going to be bipartisan? I mean, seriously? We're going to be more bipartisan when you only need 50...votes with the vice president breaking the tie to pass every piece of legislation? Why in the world, if you were the one sitting at 50, with the vice president in your party, would you ever engage with the other party if you didn't want to? So, that to me is a hollow argument and that's one that the president himself has put forward as a reason that we should change the filibuster.”
ECHOING WEST VIRGINIA’S OWN FORMER SENATOR ROBERT BYRD: “I know you know I'm from the state of West Virginia. And I know you know that there is nobody that has served in this Senate besides Senator Robert Byrd who knows the institution and traditions, and has studied it more than anybody, probably in the history of our Senate. He has said, I quote…and he's written prolifically on this subject...‘I oppose cloture by a simple majority because I believe it would immediately destroy the uniqueness of this institution, minority rights would cease to exist in the United States Senate.’ Quote, ‘rule changes must be bipartisan, and we should quote jealously guard against efforts to change or reinterpret the Senate rules by a simple majority.’”
REPUBLICANS PROTECTED SENATE RULES WHEN IN MAJORITY: “The other charge that has been lodged against us as Republicans is ‘well, we would do this if we could.’ Well, guess what? We could have done this. I was on that letter. That letter that [Senator] James [Lankford] talked about with Democrats…a bipartisan letter…that said I'm not in favor of changing the filibuster rules when I was in the majority with a president in my same party.”
WEST VIRGINIA DOESN’T NEED, WANT D.C. TAKEOVER OF ELECTIONS: “Anecdotally, I would like to say on the voting reform bill, in the state of West Virginia and the year 2020 we had more people voting in 2020 without this bill that we have had in the history of our state, with the exception of one election, and that was the 1960 election where West Virginia was very pivotal in electing Senator John Kennedy to the presidency. Also, our Secretary of State has written…in opposition to this, along with 54 of the 55 county clerks. That's 54. We have 55 counties. 54 of those clerks have written in opposition to this bill.”
In 2017, Senator Capito, along with 60 of her colleagues from both sides of the aisle sent a letter to Leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer urging them to preserve the filibuster for legislation. In total, 28 Republicans and 32 Democrats signed the letter.
To read Senator Capito’s full statement on attempts to kill the filibuster, click here.
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