Wicker Defends Filibuster, Challenges Sweeping Voting Law Changes

Miss. Senator Decries Effort to “Destroy” Consensus-Building Rule in Senate

January 11, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today took to the Senate floor to speak against efforts by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and national Democrats to eliminate the filibuster, a 60-vote threshold to close debate on legislation, from Senate rules. Democrats are hoping to overturn the consensus-building mechanism to ram through a sweeping federal takeover of elections on a narrow partisan basis.

“Our friends on the other side of the aisle proposed this week to vote on destroying a provision that has served this Senate and this republic well for over two centuries, and that is what's known as the filibuster, but what I call the consensus building 60-vote rule,” Wicker said. “This is a time honored way that this body has been unique, and it has enabled us to craft some of the most long-lasting and widely accepted legislation in the history of this republic.”

The Mississippi senator cautioned against tampering with longstanding Senate rules that encourage consensus building and compromise.

Members of the Democratic Party, including Senators Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., continue to express strong opposition to their own party’s attempt to change Senate rules. In his remarks, Wicker pointed to a letter signed by 32 Democrat senators and 28 Republicans opposing similar changes to the filibuster in 2017.

“This is a pivotal week, Mr. President. This is a week that will decide the future, not only of the Senate, but of the future of our government – our representative government – and the future of our republic,” Wicker said. “I urge my colleagues to think twice about this.”

In his remarks, Wicker called attention to the proposed measures from national Democrats that would require massive changes in the federal oversight of elections. Controversial practices like ballot harvesting would be required nationwide, and state laws would be under direct scrutiny from the federal government. Wicker also pushed back against the hypocrisy of unfounded allegations from President Biden that many recently passed state election laws in Republican-led states resemble “Jim Crow 2.0.” Several Democrat-led states, including New York, have laws that mirror these laws or are even more restrictive.

“I'm begging members of both parties to search their hearts and decide in this case whether we're going to preserve the one consensus building, compromise encouraging provision that has withstood the test of time.”

Watch Senator Wicker’s full speech as delivered here.