The Filibuster: What the Democrats Are After

by Ramesh Ponnuru

My new Bloomberg View column is about the Democrats’ proposed “reform” of Senate rules.

[P]assing more legislation isn’t the Senate Democrats’ immediate objective. They know the Republican House will block any partisan measure they pass. What they want, first, is to set a precedent for changing the Senate rules with 51 votes. That way, they can restrict the filibuster more in the future should it become useful to do so — and even before then, Republicans will know, in case they use the filibuster too often, that Democrats have the power to abolish it.

The Democrats would get three other near-term benefits from their move, as I go on to explain.

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