With Republicans in Power, Klobuchar Changes Position on Filibuster

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) told "Meet the Press" anchor Chuck Todd on Sunday that she regrets changing the filibuster requirement for presidential nominations back in 2013.

"It's the idea you have to have consensus. I would like to see 60 votes," Klobuchar said, explaining the filibuster. "I don't think we should have made that change, but it happened because we were frustrated because President Obama wasn't able to get his nominees. I think we would be in a better place now."

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) laid the groundwork for the GOP to use the "nuclear option" and remove the 60-vote requirement when he used the option to confirm Obama's executive and judicial branch nominees. Reid successfully asked the Senate to change its rules and require only a majority vote to end debate on nominations going forward. Democrats held 55 seats at the time, below the former 60-vote threshold needed to break a filibuster. At the time, Klobuchar praised the action and said it was needed. She was also okay at the time with the idea Republicans might use the option against Democrats, if they were ever to regain power.

"I think you just make it simpler to put them on the court and put them on the president’s team, and I think we go into this knowing this would apply whether a Republican is president or a Democrat," she said. "The key is just to move some of these things."

Fast-forward five years and Klobuchar has changed her mind. The senator told Todd she would prefer if the Senate reestablished the 60-vote filibuster rule but doubted it was likely to occur.

"We left the 60 votes in place for the Supreme Court. Mitch McConnell changed that," Klobuchar said. "I would prefer to bring it back. We are where we are. I don't think anyone is going to want to hamstring themselves."

Todd asked if Klobuchar and her fellow Democrats plan on walking out of the hearing for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

"That's interesting," Klobuchar said. She went on to say she doesn't think it is the way to examine and question a Supreme Court nominee.

"I don't think that's the way you examine a nominee and get the facts out," she said.

Kavanaugh's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee began on Tuesday, but Democrats immediately interrupted the committee chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa). Democrats urged the committee adjourn because the White House released additional documents Monday night from Kavanaugh's time with the George W. Bush administration. Democrats have argued the hearings should be delayed as they haven't had time to review the documents and not all documents have been released. Kavanaugh's supporters argue an unprecedented number of documents has been released and the nominee's rulings, not documents from his time at the White House, are the most relevant to evaluate his judicial philosophy and ability to judge fairly.

Andrew Kugle   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Andrew Kugle is the assistant social media editor for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2013. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, he worked as a Staff/Press Assistant for South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Andrew is from De Pere, Wisconsin and lives in D.C. His Twitter handle is @AndrewJKugle. You can reach him at kugle@freebeacon.com.

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