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 spoke on the Senate Floor regarding Senate Democrats’ attempts to radically change the Senate filibuster rules and abolish the 60-vote threshold when considering legislation.
DEMOCRATS’ HYPOCRISY: “I’d like to remind President Biden where he was when he was Senator Biden and what he had to say about eliminating the filibuster on this very floor back in 2005: He said ‘It is not only a bad idea, it upsets the constitutional design and it disservices the country.’ Well, Senator Biden, I couldn’t agree more. But, he’s not the only one who has done a complete 180 when it comes to the filibuster. Majority Leader Schumer once said it would be ‘doomsday for Democracy.’ That sounds pretty bad. ‘Doomsday for Democracy,’ if the filibuster were to be eliminated, and he’s right. More recently, he called the filibuster ‘the most important distinction between the House and the House.’ Again, I couldn’t agree more.”
DEMOCRATS VOTING RIGHTS DECEPTION: “This is not about voting rights. It's important to note that we did have a record turnout in 2020. More people voted than ever before. More than 158 million ballots were cast in 2020, which is a 7% increase from 2016, and we didn't have this voting rights legislation. In West Virginia, we had thousands more people vote than in 2016. As a matter of fact, the total number of ballots that were cast in 2020 was more than any election in our history, with one exception: the 1960 election of President John F. Kennedy. So, don't believe the hyperbole. Don't believe the rhetoric. Don't take the bait. The party-wide flip flop we are now seeing has nothing to do with voting rights. Instead, it has everything to do with paving the way for an aggressive and progressive agenda that the Democrats wish to enact.”
WHAT WEST VIRGINIA WANTS: “My home state of West Virginia—you know what they want? They want us to work together like they saw us do on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. I hear this all the time. Bipartisanship is critical to making good and better policy, and if the Senate’s rules are changed, it would be a relic of the past. We just passed, and was signed into law, the infrastructure bill that I worked to negotiate. We’ve also passed the CARES Act. We passed the Great American Outdoors Act bipartisan. We can do this. But, if we change the rules to where only 50 votes are needed to pass legislation, there will be zero incentive for motivation for the two sides to work together.”
CONSEQUENCES BACK HOME: “And just as badly, legislative accomplishments could be done or undone and redone and done over and over with just one flip of a Senate seat. Policies harmful to my state could be enacted: The Green New Deal, court packing, federalizing our election… packing the Senate with new states, defunding the police, attacking the second amendment for law-abiding Americans, and more. We don’t even have to imagine what Democrats would do or would want to do.”
PRESERVING BIPARTISANSHIP: “I'm asking my fellow senators on the other side of the aisle: Don't do this. You'll come to regret it, I think, if you do. But, I think that we need to preserve the rights of the minority. We need to preserve the chance for bipartisanship. We need to preserve the traditions of the Senate. If you destroy this tradition, unfortunately, the country will suffer the consequences.”
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.
To watch Senator Capito’s remarks from a press conference today highlighting the same issue, click here.
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