POLL: Most Americans who care about the filibuster don’t like it and want it changed

ted cruz filibuster
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex.

  • We asked Americans what they think about the Senate filibuster.
  • The parliamentary rule designed to delay bills for debate has been a source of heated contention.
  • Most respondents said they don’t have an opinion, but most of those who do want it changed.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

For all of the attention the Senate filibuster gets inside the beltway and in political journalism, many Americans don’t really care about it, a new Insider poll found.

The most consensus we got when we asked 1,117 people about their views on the procedure was 36% saying they don’t have a strong opinion about it.

The poll, conducted in late March, asked respondents their view on the filibuster. They were presented with the following options and asked which best describes their view:

  • I think the Senate needs to abolish the filibuster entirely (20%)
  • I think the Senate should require a “talking” filibuster, where Senators must remain on the floor to delay a bill (21%)
  • I think the current filibuster rules are fine as is (17%)
  • I think the filibuster should be expanded back to include judicial nominations (5%)
  • I don’t have a strong feeling about the filibuster (36%)

After the 36% who said they don’t care about the filibuster, the next most common response was 21% saying they’d like the Senate to require a “talking” filibuster, where senators would have to physically stand on the Senate floor and speak for as long as they can to delay a bill. Currently, a full blown floor speech is not required.

Under the current rule, at least 60 senators need to invoke “cloture” by voting to bring debate to a halt and move on.

Another 20% said they want the Senate to abolish the filibuster entirely.

Just 17% said they think the rule is “fine as is.”

The least common response was “I think the filibuster should be expanded back to include judicial nominations,” which only got 5%. Back in 2013, Senate Democrats chose the “nuclear option” to eliminate the filibuster for cabinet and judicial nominations, with the exception of the Supreme Court.

In 2015, Republicans invoked their own “nuclear option” by removing the Supreme Court exception to push through the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Among respondents, 36% said they would likely take part in their state’s Democratic primary in 2024, compared to 31% who said they would likely take part in their state’s Republican primary.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,129 respondents March 27-28, 2021 with a 3 percentage point margin of error.

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Mitch McConnell promised a ‘nuclear winter’ of contrarian tactics if Democrats get rid of the filibuster

mitch mcconnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

  • McConnell said Senate negotiations would be a “nuclear winter” if Democrats bin the filibuster.
  • Senate aides told Axios he isn’t bluffing, and would use other rules to frustrate Democrats.
  • Democrats dismiss his rhetoric, though they likely don’t have enough support to scrap the entire policy.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Mitch McConnell has warned that the Senate would turn into “a sort of nuclear winter” if Democrats scrapped the filibuster.

The Senate minority leader made the comments on the conservative “Ruthless” podcast in an episode released Tuesday.

Senate aides told Axios that McConnell isn’t bluffing, and that he would be very strategic in taking advantage of other Senate rules to frustrate Democrats and stall progress in the Senate.

But, Axios reported, his goal now is to use apocalyptic language in a bid to scare Democrats away from wanting to scrap the filibuster.

The filibuster is a prolonged debate used to prevent measures from being brought to a vote and to block legislation, and is commonly used by the minority party – in this case the GOP. A filibuster can be ended if the 60 out of the 100 senators agree to end the debate. The 60-vote measure to end a filibuster could make passing legislation harder, given that only a simple majority is needed to pass bills in the Senate.

As Insider’s Erin Snodgrass previously reported, calls to get rid of the filibuster have increased since Democrats took control of Congress in January. The move could allow policies like increasing the minimum wage and tightening gun control to move forward more quickly.

Democrats previously dismissed McConnell’s rhetoric about the filibuster, including when he promised earlier this month to go “scorched earth” if Democrats got rid of it.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” last week that McConnell “can do all the threatening and bluster he wants, it’s not going to stop us.”

Axios noted that Republicans could use other strategies to try and slow down progress if the filibuster is gone, including requiring roll calls that would mean Senators have to spend more time at the Capitol, putting Republicans forward for hourslong debates, and introducing long amendments to stretch out proceedings.

Former President Donald Trump said this week that getting rid of the filibuster would be “catastrophic for the Republican Party.”

Democrats also told Axios that Republican efforts to obstruct progress would only delay it, but not stop it.

They said that they’d still make more progress on their agenda without the filibuster, even with Republicans trying to frustrate proceedings.

One senior Democratic aide told Axios: “In the end, this would be obstruction for the sake of obstruction.”

But the Associated Press noted that Democrats don’t appear to have enough support within their own senators to change the filibuster rule.

It requires 51 votes, which is the number of Democrats in the Senate, including Vice President Kamala Harris – and some Democratic senators, including Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, have already voiced objections to the change.

But Democrats may have enough votes to reform the filibuster.

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Pressure is mounting to ditch the filibuster and pass gun reform after back-to-back mass shootings in the US

Police work on the scene outside a King Soopers grocery store where a shooting took place Monday, March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colo

  • Calls to end the Senate filibuster have intensified after two mass shootings in one week in the US.
  • Activists say trashing the filibuster is the only way to pass gun reform in the Senate.
  • A growing number of Democrats have voiced their support for filibuster elimination or reform.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After 18 people were killed in two high-profile mass shootings within a week in the US, calls to abolish the filibuster have been intensifying among activists and Democratic politicians as a necessary step to pass gun reform.

Ten people were killed in a Boulder, Colorado, King Soopers grocery store after a gunman opened fire Tuesday afternoon. That tragedy came only one week after a man shot and killed 8 people in three Atlanta-area massage parlors on March 16.

As the country slowly crawls back toward normality after a year of pandemic-related lockdowns, mass shootings – an undeniable reality of American life – seem to be back in full force.

Police said Tuesday Ahmad Alissa, the man charged in the Boulder shooting, bought a semi-automatic rifle less than a week before Monday’s massacre, and in Atlanta, accused gunman Robert Aaron Long allegedly bought the gun he’s suspected of using to murder eight people the day of the shooting.

Neither Colorado nor Georgia has a waiting period when it comes to purchasing firearms. In fact, just 10 US states and Washington, DC, have any type of law requiring a waiting period between the time a person attempts to purchase a gun and when they are able to take possession of the weapon, Insider’s Connor Perrett reported.

The dual tragedies have once again reinvigorated calls for comprehensive, federal gun control. But this time, proponents have zeroed in on a tangible first step: eliminate the filibuster.

Calls to gut the filibuster – the Senate rule that requires 60 votes rather than a simple majority of 51 to pass most legislation – have been ramping up since Democrats took control of Congress in January.

Supporters argue doing so is the only way to push forward a progressive agenda, including an increased minimum wage, student-loan forgiveness, and now, gun control.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts tweeted her support for nuking the rule following Monday’s shooting.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and Texas politician Julian Castro echoed their support.

Castro told CNN the recent shootings are just one more example of why the country needs “significant filibuster reform” that makes it easier for “effective, meaningful legislation” like gun control to be enacted.

Merkley said if Republicans won’t “get on board” with common-sense gun safety legislation, “we should abolish the filibuster and get it done.”

Democratic rising star and Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman tweeted his support.

And the former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich delivered a concise message.

In a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois said Congress’ refusal to pass gun legislation has made it complicit in recent violence, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Even with the Democrats’ narrow control of both chambers, passing any type of gun legislation in the Senate is unlikely. Democrats would need at least 10 Republicans on board in order to bypass the filibuster.

Nuking the filibuster could prove to be an equally insurmountable task as at least two moderate Democratic senators have voiced their opposition to doing so. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia declared earlier this year he would “never” change his mind on the filibuster and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona has also said she’s against dismantling the Senate staple.

The growing list of Democratic supporters, however, could mean an opportunity to at least reform the filibuster, rather than abolishing it entirely.

But for the people who suffer the consequences of gun violence, action can’t come soon enough. Fred Guttenberg, a gun-control activist and father of a student murdered in the 2018 Parkland school shooting said the recent gun violence was both predictable and inevitable.

“End the filibuster,” Guttenberg tweeted Tuesday. “Gun safety needs to move forward without them.”

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Trump says it would be ‘catastrophic for the Republican Party’ if the Senate kills the filibuster

trump plane
Former President Donald Trump.

  • Trump said that if Democrats kill the filibuster, it would be “catastrophic” for the GOP.
  • “They’re going to attack the Second Amendment violently” and the Supreme Court, he said on a podcast.
  • Democrats are unlikely to eliminate the filibuster entirely, but they’re moving closer to reforming it.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump said this week that if the Democratic-controlled Senate gets rid of the filibuster, it would be “catastrophic” for the GOP.

“If they get the filibuster, if they knock it out, it will be catastrophic for the Republican Party,” Trump said on the right-wing podcast “The Truth With Lisa Boothe.”

He added that if Democrats nix the filibuster, “there is one thing you can do: not show up. If the Republicans don’t show up – in other words, there’s no vote. As I understand it, with 50-50 … the vice presidential vote doesn’t count in that case, so they can’t get that through.”

“Now, I don’t even know if the Republican – if the Senate knows that, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said. “But if they don’t show up, Lisa, I hear that you can’t take a vote. It doesn’t work.”

The former president said that the GOP “may have to do that, because they can’t allow, if [Democrats] knock out the filibuster, they cannot allow this to happen. They’re going to attack the Second Amendment violently, which I told everybody.”

He then took aim at the Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority with three justices who were nominated by Trump.

“They’re going to attack the Supreme Court,” Trump said of Democrats. “Wouldn’t it be interesting – the Supreme Court has done absolutely nothing for us in terms of the election. They haven’t done what they should have done. Wouldn’t it be ironic if they stacked the court? It would be rather ironic.”

A number of Democratic senators have expressed support for eliminating the filibuster, but they don’t yet have the votes to kill it because of key holdouts like California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. However, Democrats may have enough votes to reform the filibuster, and President Joe Biden said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he’d be open to that as well.

Meanwhile, despite Trump’s warning against killing the filibuster, he sang a different tune when he was in the White House and Republicans controlled the Senate.

“If Senate Republicans don’t get rid of the Filibuster Rule and go to a 51% majority, few bills will be passed,” he tweeted in August 2017. “8 Dems control the Senate!”

The previous month, he tweeted that the filibuster was “very outdated” and “must go.” “Budget reconciliation is killing R’s in Senate,” Trump wrote, adding that then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should “go to 51 Votes NOW and WIN. IT’S TIME!”

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Dianne Feinstein is ‘open’ to filibuster reform, citing GOP ‘abuse’ of the Senate procedure

Dianne Feinstein
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) speaks during the confirmation hearing for then-Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen on January 19, 2021.

  • Dianne Feinstein said that she would be “open” to possible changes with the legislative filibuster.
  • The position is stark turnaround for the longtime Senate institutionalist.
  • Feinstein said that she is concerned about Republican ‘abuse’ of the procedural tool.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California on Friday said that she would be “open” to possible changes with the legislative filibuster, a departure from the longtime senator’s institutionalist leanings.

Feinstein, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992, has been leery of dramatically altering the procedural tool, instead pushing for bipartisan consensus on issues like gun control and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

However, she said that if Senate Republicans “abuse the filibuster,” her position might shift.

“Ideally the Senate can reach bipartisan agreement on those issues, as well as on a voting rights bill,” she said in a statement. “But if that proves impossible and Republicans continue to abuse the filibuster by requiring cloture votes, I’m open to changing the way the Senate filibuster rules are used.”

Feinstein noted that President Joe Biden, who represented Delaware in the Senate for 36 years and has defended the Senate’s deliberative processes, including the filibuster, has himself come out in favor of a “talking filibuster.”

“I don’t think that you have to eliminate the filibuster; you have to do it, what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days,” Biden said in an ABC News interview earlier this week. “You had to stand up and command the floor, and you had to keep talking.”

Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-best-friends-congress-delaware-delegation-coons-carper-rochester-2021-3

Feinstein said that Biden’s idea was “worth discussing.”

She added: “I don’t want to turn away from Senate traditions, but I also don’t believe one party should be able to prevent votes on important bills by abusing the filibuster.”

While it isn’t Biden’s “preference” to end the filibuster, Senate Democrats are facing a raft of House-approved bills that include the sweeping voting reform bill known as H.R. 1 and the earliest elements of immigration reform, which are almost certain to be blocked by Senate Republicans.

The Senate is evenly split between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, with Democrats holding a majority due to Vice President Kamala Harris’s tiebreaking vote.

However, the Senate has a 60-vote threshold to advance legislation, and with the Republican caucus dominated by conservative lawmakers and the party still smarting over former President Donald Trump’s 2020 loss, legislative buy-in from the GOP on comprehensive bills will be difficult to come by.

Feinstein’s statement comes after she recently expressed concern about Democrats nuking the filibuster and Republicans enacting far-reaching legislation on the opposite political spectrum if they were to regain a majority in the Senate.

“I would say I’m undecided,” Feinstein told The Hill, adding that a GOP Senate majority “is a factor, one of the reasons why I’m hesitant.”

While many Senate Democrats have mulled over eliminating the filibuster, Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have committed to keeping the procedure in place.

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Elizabeth Warren says the filibuster has ‘deep roots in racism’

Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Axios the much-scrutinized filibuster has “deep roots in racism.”
  • Some Democrats have been eyeing a reform to the filibuster, which could block Biden’s agenda.
  • Democrats’ other option, reconciliation, can only be used once per fiscal year, and they’ve already done that.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Democrats have had unified control in Washington again since the January runoff elections, and just like the last time they held the White House, Senate, and House, under former President Barack Obama, Republican use of the filibuster could block their plans.

As Democrats increasingly say they’re open to reforming the filibuster to enact Biden’s agenda, some are questioning the procedure’s role in American history.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Axios that it “has deep roots in racism, and it should not be permitted to serve that function, or to create a veto for the minority. In a democracy, it’s majority rules.”

As she told Axios, the founders wanted the Senate and House to function as simple majorities; ending a Senate filibuster requires 60 votes, which is obviously greater than a simple majority.

“The filibuster is a later creation that was designed to give the South the ability to veto any effective civil rights legislation or anti lynching legislation,” Warren also told Axios.

Warren did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Warren isn’t the first Democrat to point to the filibuster’s role in the potential obstruction of the Civil Rights Act. In January, Rep. Rashida Tlaib tweeted:

“The longest filibuster ever held on the US Senate floor was 60 days in 1964 to prevent the passing of the Civil Rights Act. The filibuster is a tool of obstruction. It does not encourage debate, it does not allow for more voices to be heard, it is for suppression only. End it.”

In his eulogy for Rep. John Lewis, former President Barack Obama called to abolish the filibuster if the step would allow federal voting laws to be passed. In fact, the House just passed H.R. 1, a major voting rights bill, but the Senate version currently faces the threat of a filibuster.

More pivotal Democrats are weighing in on the filibuster

In an ABC News interview, President Joe Biden said he supports reforming the filibuster and bringing back the talking filibuster – where senators have to keep talking throughout their filibuster.

And a sweeping piece from The Washington Post looks into the current debate over the filibuster following Biden’s reform endorsement; there’s still hesitancy among some Democrats, while others think a simple majority should be required to end a filibuster. As Vox reported, pivotal Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has seemingly signaled some support for a talking filibuster, but doesn’t support lowering the vote threshold from 60.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that if Democrats were to alter the filibuster “they’ll unleash furies they can barely imagine.”

Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig previously reported that the filibuster could prove to be a major barrier for the potential quick passage of Biden’s policies. He also reported that, per the strict rules surrounding it, Democrats could only use reconciliation twice this fiscal year. That comes as they eye a larger infrastructure package.

And the Senate used reconciliation to pass Biden’s American Rescue Plan after no Republicans voted in favor of it – meaning they essentially have just one more use remaining this fiscal year.

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House Republicans vote to approve restoring earmarks after decade-long ban

FILE PHOTO: House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.

  • The House Republican caucus voted to approve the restoration of earmarks on Wednesday.
  • Democrats introduced reforms weeks ago as it sought to lift the GOP’s decade-old ban on earmarks.
  • Restoring the use of earmarks could make legislation easier to pass for both parties.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republicans instituted a ban on earmarks a decade ago, following a series of scandals related to abuses, but on Wednesday, House Republicans voted to support bringing earmarks back, potentially signaling a positive trajectory for President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.

The vote – conducted by secret ballot – follows House Democrats’ introduction of earmark reform guidelines at the end of February. Restoring earmarks could help ease legislation that doesn’t equally benefit all representatives.

“There’s a real concern about the administration directing where money goes,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters after the vote. “This doesn’t add one more dollar. I think members here know what’s most important about what’s going on in their district, not Biden.”

However, Senate Republicans still have not voted on restoring earmarks, and some of them have already voiced clear opposition to doing so.

On Saturday, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told reporters that earmarks “are not the right way to go.”

“They have been associated with excess, and it would represent a turn to the worst,” he said.

The ban on earmarks – which Democrats have been calling “community-funding projects” – has a loaded history, and for a time, had bipartisan support.

In 2005, Alaska Rep. Don Young secured $233 million for a bridge that would connect two small cities, which became known as the “bridge to nowhere,” with critics saying the bridge would not significantly benefit Young’s community. The same year, former California Rep. Duke Cunningham landed himself eight years in prison for accepting $2.4 million in bribes in return for promising earmarks to defense contractors.

Former President Barack Obama in 2011 said that he would veto any bill containing earmarks, and until 2019, when then-House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey explored bringing earmarks back, Congress functioned without the community funding measure for a decade.

And on March 1, 10 Republican senators, led by Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Steve Daines of Montana, introduced a bill to permanently ban earmarks. Rubio said in a statement that earmarks led to “corruption and waste, and bought votes in Congress for unpopular legislation.”

Bringing back earmarks with Republican support could help Biden move forward with his infrastructure bill, which he and other Democrats have said they would like to be bipartisan. The president has not yet announced specific funding plans for infrastructure, and conservative and moderate lawmakers have already made it clear that they will not support another bill that uses reconciliation.

But if the GOP lends support to earmarks, they could have a greater say in the course the infrastructure bill might take and where the spending would go, which would be a relief to lawmakers like Rep. Sam Graves – ranking member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee – who said in a statement that he does not want “another Green New Deal disguising itself as a transportation bill.”

The passage of Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill was his first major economic victory, and with the potential return of earmarks, along with possible reforms to the filibuster – which Biden said on an ABC News interview on Tuesday that he would support – implementing his economic agenda could occur with greater ease than expected.

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Biden remains opposed to eliminating the Senate filibuster, White House official says

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden.

  • Kate Bedingfield said that President Biden continues to oppose eliminating the Senate filibuster.
  • “His preference is not to end the filibuster,” she said on Sunday.
  • Bedingfield’s comments highlight a divide between the White House and progressive lawmakers.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

White House Communications director Kate Bedingfield on Sunday said that President Joe Biden continues to oppose eliminating the Senate filibuster.

During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Bedingfield said that Biden, a 36-year veteran of the upper chamber, remains committed to forging bipartisan consensus with the GOP, even after a narrow 50-49 party-line vote to approve the latest COVID-19 relief package.

Bedingfield stated that Biden aims to keep the filibuster in place.

“It is still his position,” she said. “His preference is not to end the filibuster. He wants to work with Republicans, to work with independents. He believes that we are stronger when we build a broad coalition of support.”

Host Jake Tapper then asked Bedingfield how the administration would handle other pieces of legislation, including H.R.1, the massive election overhaul that passed in the House last week, along with the party’s longtime push to raise the minimum wage to $15.

The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill was passed through the budget reconciliation process, which was able to overcome the usual 60-vote threshold for legislation to proceed.

With the Senate evenly split between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans and Vice President Kamala Harris having the ability to break ties, every Democratic member has to be on board to proceed with major pieces of legislation unless Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York can pick up support from the dwindling number of GOP moderates.

Still, Bedingfield argued that the relief package had bipartisan support in the public sphere and among elected officials.

“We also got it done with the support of 75 percent of the American people, including over 50 percent of Republicans,” she said. “We able to pass this legislation with massive bipartisan support across the country. You had something like 400 mayors, Republicans and Democrats, come out in support of the rescue plan.”

Bedingfield’s comments highlight the divide between the White House and progressive lawmakers who argue that a minimum wage hike and voting rights legislation will not survive the Senate’s 60-vote threshold.

While progressives have pushed for Senate Democrats to ax the filibuster, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are strongly opposed to the idea.

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Sen. Joe Manchin on ending the filibuster: ‘Jesus Christ, what don’t you understand about ‘never’?’

GettyImages 1231334604
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) arrives for the Senate Impeachment trials at the Capitol on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021.

  • US Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, said Monday he will “never” change his mind on the filibuster.
  • The filibuster means that 60 votes are needed to pass most legislation in the Senate.
  • “Jesus Christ, what don’t you understand about ‘never’?” Manchin said.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

In a democracy, 50% plus one equals a governing majority. But in the US Senate, it takes 60 votes – or arcane maneuvers like budget “reconciliation” – to get much of anything done thanks to the filibuster, a Senate rule allowing a senator or senators from the minority party to hold up a bill, which has ossified into a permanent obstacle.

And that, Sen. Joe Manchin said on Monday, will “never” change so long as he’s around.

Democrats, in control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, are eager to utilize their trifecta to deliver memorable reforms ahead of the next mid-term elections, which have historically seen the ruling party suffer setbacks.

Some of it can be done the 50 plus one way: the $1.9 trillion stimulus package on track to be passed this week includes $1,400 checks, a $400 per week boost in unemployment, and billions in aid for state and local governments. But a ruling by the Senate’s parliamentarian means it will not include a hike in the minimum wage – and Republican support for $15 an hour by 2025 does not appear to be in the offing.

But, as critics are quick to note, there is nothing in the US Constitution that demands that a Senate majority’s legislation be stymied in perpetuity by a filibuster (and the need to get 60 votes to end debate). Indeed, that simple Senate majority could elect to just do away with what is just a tradition, not a law.

Manchin, the senator from West Virginia, is one of two Democrats standing in the way of that (the other is Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema). And he’s not going to change his mind.

“Never!” he shouted at a journalist who asked if setbacks to the Democratic agenda might lead him to reconsider, per a pool report filed Monday night by Bloomberg News’ Erik Wasson. “Jesus Christ, what don’t you understand about ‘never’?”

If Manchin’s party is unable to move forward with other big-ticket items, however, expect rank-and-file Democrats and members of the press to keep asking him the question.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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