(CNSNews.com) - Under the reconciliation process, certain budgetary items can pass the Senate with a simple majority of 51 votes. But all other issues require 60 votes to cut off Senate debate.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) says that should change. He spoke to CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday:
We need to get rid of the filibuster for constitutional issues, just as we have done for budget issues. If you want to argue about how high a wall ought to be, whether or not you ought to build a wall, those are issues that are political, and let's have the filibuster, if it's -- so long as there's extended debate.
But we ought not be filibustering things like people's voting rights, because what we have done with the modern-day filibuster, we will allow a senator to sit downtown in a spa somewhere, pick up the telephone and call in the filibuster, and effectively stop voting rights and other constitutional rights while sitting in a spa somewhere, won't even come to the floor to argue his or her position.
That's what is wrong with this filibuster, and that's what they have done to it. So, Senator Manchin, I like him a whole lot. We have talked about this.
And I will say once again, Senator, I'm not against the filibuster, but you ought not be filibustering -- nobody should filibuster anybody's constitutional right. We have done it for the budget under reconciliation. And reconciliation is a much better word to apply to constitutional issues than it is to the budget.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is under tremendous pressure in the evenly divided Senate to vote to remove or weaken the 60-vote filibuster, but he has so far refused to go along with those who see no problem in trampling on the minority party -- in this case, Republicans.
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