Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to take away the legitimate rights of the body’s minority party with his effort to end the filibuster, says Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.
The filibuster requires 60 votes to end debate on a motion. Democrats currently have 55 votes in the Senate.
Already Reid has utilized parliamentary rules to prevent Republican senators from offering amendments to bills in committee and on the floor, Barrasso writes in The Wall Street Journal
Now the majority leader and fellow Democrats are trying to do away with the filibuster to prevent GOP amendments.
Without the filibuster, “bills would move to a final vote without the minority ever having a chance to offer amendments,” Barrasso says. “The minority — Republican or Democratic —would be dependent on the goodwill of the majority leader for any meaningful participation. And in Washington these days goodwill is in short supply.”
If Reid and his Democratic allies succeed in quashing the filibuster, “they will destroy any hope of achieving a balanced solution to the challenges we face,” Barrasso says.
“With less opportunity for minority participation, bills that come out of the Senate would be less nuanced and more biased toward one end of the spectrum. Today it is the liberal side; in the future, it may be the conservative side.”
Our government is predicated on majority rule with strong minority rights, the senator writes. “Democracy isn't winner-take-all. If Sen. Reid breaks the rules to change the rules, political minorities — and all Americans — will lose.”
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