Cotton Reveals His Entire Speech Against Ending Filibuster Was Word-for-Word from Schumer's Previous Statements
GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas on Wednesday highlighted the hypocrisy of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s push to suspend the filibuster rule by quoting the New Yorker’s past impassioned statements against such a move.
“Right now we are on the precipice of a constitutional crisis. We’re about to step into the abyss,” Cotton said from the Senate floor, quoting from a 2005 speech by Schumer when the issue of ending the filibuster was being considered while Republicans were in the majority.
“What is the crisis that calls for the undoing of two centuries of tradition? Are senators merely doing their jobs as legislators, responding to a generalized public calling for the abolition of the filibuster? Clearly not,” Cotton said.
The senator said it was not the American people calling for this rule change, still invoking Schumer’s past arguments.
“Constitutional scholars will tell us that the reason we have these rules in the Senate — unlimited debate, two-thirds to change the rules, the idea that 60 have to close off debate — is embodied in the spirit and rule of the Constitution. That is what the Constitution is all about, and we all know it,” Cotton continued.
“It is the Senate where the Founding Fathers established a repository of checks and balances. … They were correct, in my judgment, that the slimmest majority should not always govern. The Senate is not a majoritarian body,” Cotton added, still quoting from Schumer’s 2005 remarks.
By way of comparison, Republicans held a 55-45 majority in 2005, while the current breakdown in the Senate is 50-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris, as president of the Senate, casting the tie-breaking vote to give Democrats the majority.
So Schumer’s observation about slim majorities then would seem even more applicable now.
“The ideologues in the Senate want to turn what the Founding Fathers called the ‘cooling saucer of democracy’ into a rubber stamp of dictatorship,” Cotton said, still employing the majority leader’s past statements.
“They want to make this country into a banana republic, where if you don’t get your way you change the rules,” he added. “Are we going to let them? It will be a doomsday for democracy if we do.”
In 2005, Democrat Chuck Schumer said eliminating the filibuster would “be a doomsday for Democracy.”