News Joe Manchin opposes eliminating or weakening the Senate filibuster under any circumstance

by Daniel Wright

A lot of the effort to change the Senate rules is being made by a group called the “Gang of 14” that includes Democrats and Republicans.

The Senate rules are not exactly what they used to be. The filibuster was invented in the early 1800s, and it was originally intended to thwart the will of a minority in order to protect a majority. A filibuster in its original form requires a senator to speak for up to 20 hours on any given day, or else he or she must yield the floor and allow another senator to speak.

But that rule has been changed over time, including under President Bill Clinton’s administration, when it was changed from requiring 20 hours of speeches per day or yielding the floor for another senator, to requiring 60 votes for an actual filibuster. The 60-vote requirement is still in place today, but it can be overcome by a simple majority vote if 60 senators agree on how they want something done.

A number of bills have been introduced over the years that would change that rule and make it easier for lawmakers to pass legislation without having to go through the lengthy process of debate and amendments before passing legislation into law. Some have proposed reducing that threshold from 60 votes down to 50 votes or eliminating all filibusters altogether – but these proposals rarely get very far because they are strongly opposed by Democratic lawmakers who argue that changing those rules would effectively allow Republicans to completely stymie Democratic initiatives with only 51 votes in favor rather than require more than 60 votes in favor for an actual filibuster.

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