Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton criticized Democratic senators who have reversed their positions on the Senate filibuster for engaging in “highly situational ethics” during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”
With a narrow 50-50 majority, Democrats like Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who once supported the filibuster, are now seeking to remove or modify it in order to be able to pass bills without a 60 vote threshold. Fox News anchor Chris Wallace asked Cotton about a proposal from President Joe Biden that would make filibusters more difficult by requiring senators to “stand up and command the floor.”
“Isn’t there something to be said for more legislating and less gridlock?” Wallace asked, pointing out that Republicans could be in the majority again and would want to pass laws.
“No, Chris, there’s something to be said for compromise and bipartisanship and respect for the rights of the minority in the Senate,” Cotton said. “These rules have been in place since the beginning of our republic, and the Democrats are engaged in pretty highly situational ethics.”
Cotton pointed out that 27 Democrats currently in the Senate “wrote a letter urging Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer to maintain these rules” four years ago, when Republicans were in charge.
“Now most of those senators have flip-flopped simply because they have the barest of majorities,” he said. “Republicans refused to change those rules four years ago because we respect these traditions in the Senate and we know they’ve helped forge durable bipartisan consensus legislation.”