tv Sen. John Mc Cain R-AZ in 2013 on Filibuster CSPAN January 15, 2022 6:32pm-6:49pm EST
their lives as before. but i do predict that our government will work better. a president will be able to form an executive branch. our judiciary will function better. and the u.s. senate will be able to move qualified nominees through the senate and a more responsible manner. -- in a more responsible manner. this is a good day for the senate, a good day for our nation. the senate now enters that when he first century. again, i congratulate leader reid for bringing the senate forward, a courageous action. i complement all my fellow senators who upheld that vote, upheld overruling of the chairs so that no one we only need 51 votes -- so that from now on we only need 51
votes to move judges through the united states senate. i yield the floor. sen. mccain: mr. president, the events that took place today are probably as historic as any votes that i have seen taken in the years i have been here in the united states senate. the majority with only majority votes, the same as was passed with obamacare, with only democrat votes, changed the rules of the senate in a way that is detrimental, in my view, not only to the united states senate, not only to those of us in the minority party, but great damage to the institution itself. one of the men who served in this senate for a long time that
we respected as much or more than any other leader, he certainly knew the senate rules more than any of the rest of us combined, was one robert byrd. three months before his death, robert byrd wrote this letter. three months before his death, he said, "during my half-century of service in various leaderships during the u.s. senate, including minority leader, majority leader, majority whip, and now president pro tem, i have carefully studied this body's histories, rules, and president. studying those things leads one to an understanding of the constitutional framers' vision for the senate as an institution and the subsequent development of the rules to protect that institution alone." this is important, i say to my colleagues. he said, i am so pathetic to frustrations about the senate's rules, but those frustrations are nothing new. i recognize the need for the senate to be responsive to changing times and continually
work for reforms at modernizing this institution using the prescribed procedure for amending the rules. however, i believe that efforts to change or reinterpret the rules in order to facilitate expeditious action by a simple majority, while popular, are grossly misguided. while i welcome needed reform, we must also be mindful of our first responsibility to preserve the institution's special-purpose. finally at the end, he said, extended deliberation and debate when employed judiciously protect every senator in the interest of their constituency and are essential to the protection of the liberties of a free people. i ask unanimous consent that this letter be included in the record at this time. i wish that robert byrd had been here on the floor today. i wish that robert byrd had seen the travesty that had just taken
place on a partyline vote. and when i use the word hypocrisy, i use it guardedly. i do not use that word with abandon. but this is another broken promise, another broken promise. i read from an article entitled "flashback." "as long as i am the leader, we will not have a nuclear option." senator harry reid said in a 2008 interview that as long as he was the senate majority leader the nuclear option would never happen under his watch. "as long as i am the leader, the answer is no." he said, "i think we should just forget that. that is a black chapter in the history of the senate. i hope we never, ever get to do that again because i really do believe it will ruin our
country."he was talking about 2005 when this side of the isle was the majority and we were going to change, there was an effort that we were able to diffuse in order to do exactly what we did today. in 2008, the majority leader said, we rallied against republicans who fought for the measure, saying it would lead to a unicameral legislature and it was purposely set up by the founding fathers to have different rules than the house of representatives. such a measure like the nuclear option would "change our country forever." and i am sorry to say, i agree with him.i agree with what he said in 2008. yet on thursday, on a nearly partyline vote, the democrats abruptly changed the senate balance of power. so here is the full exchange i will read from. tom daschle. what was the nuclear option and what likelihood is there that we are going to have to face
nuclear option like questions again? this is an interview that the majority leader tom daschle. what the republicans came up with was a way to change our country forever. they made a decision if they did not get every judge they wanted, then that they were going to make the senate just like the house of representatives. we would, in fact, have a unicameral legislature where a simple majority would determine whatever happens. in the house of representatives today, pelosi is the leader. whatever they wanted, it got done. the rules over there allowed that. the senate was set up to be different. that was the genius, the vision of our founding fathers, that this bicameral legislature which was unique had two different duties. one was to pour the coffee into the saucer and let it cool off. that is why you have the ability to filibuster and to terminate filibuster.
they wanted to get rid of all of that, and that is what the nuclear option was all about. daschle, is there any likelihood that we will face circumstances like that again? reid, as long as i am the leader, the answer is no. he said, as long as i am the leader, the answer is no. i think we should forget that. that is a black chapter in the history of the senate. i hope we never, ever get to do that again because i do believe it will ruin our country. i said during that debate that in all my years of government that was the most important thing i ever worked on. boy, this gives new meaning onto where you stand on an issue as opposed to where you sit. this hypocrisy is not confined to members of the senate. senator barack obama, a former member of this body. on april 1, 2005, i benefit our
newer members who were not here at the time and don't know what we went through to try to stop it when it was being proposed by the side of the aisle. then senator barack obama said, we congratulate the senate today on their action. he said, the american people sent us here to be their voice. they understand that those voices can at times become loud and argumentative. but they also hope that we can disagree without being disagreeable. then senator barack obama on april 1, 2005, went on to say, what they don't expect is for one party, be it republican or democrat, to change the rules in the middle of the game so that they can make all the decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet. i ask my colleagues, what were we just told to do today? he went on to say, the american people want partisanship in this
town, but everyone in this chamber knows the majority chooses to end the filibuster. if they choose to change the rules and put an end to the democratic debate and the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse. he went on to say, i understand the republicans are getting a lot of pressure to do this from factions outside the chamber, but we need to rise above the ends justifies the means mentality because we are here to answer to the people, all of the people, not just the ones who are wearing our particular party label. and he went on to say, if the right to free and open debate is taken away from the minority party and the millions of americans who asked us to be their voice, i fear our partisan atmosphere in washington will be poisoned to the point where no one will be able to agree on anything. that doesn't serve anybody's best interest and it certainly is not what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind.
we of the people who sent us here more than that. we owe them much more. there are several others. in may 2005, senator reid also said, if there was ever an example of an abuse of power, this is h. the filibuster is the last check we have against the abuse of power in washington. we just eliminated the filibuster on nominees. they went on to say, the threat to change the senate rules is a raw abuse of power that will destroy the very checks and balances our founding fathers put in place to prevent absolute power by anyone branch of government. so, yes, i'm upset. yes, several occasions we have gotten together in a bipartisan basis and prevented what exactly happened today. what exactly happened today is not just a shift in power to appoint judges.
that in itself is something that is very important. but what we really did today and what is so damning and what will last for a long time unless we change it that could permanently change the unique aspects of this institution, the united states senate, as if a majority can change the rules, then only a majority can change the roles, then there are no rules. that is the only conclusion that anyone can draw from what we did today. suppose that in a few weeks that the majority doesn't like that we object to the motion to proceed. 51 votes. suppose that the cloture, they don't like having those votes for cloture. 51 votes. my friends, we are approaching a
slippery slope that will destroy the very unique aspect of this institution called the united states senate. and i believe that the facts will show, as the republican leader pointed out today, that this was a bit of a strawman. yes, there have been a handful, a small number of nominees that were rejected by this side of the aisle, but there have been literally hundreds and hundreds of nominees who have not even been in debate on the floor of the senate. so all i can say is that when people make a commitment such as i just read from the president of the united states when he was in the senate to our majority leader, we should not be surprised when there is a great deal of cynicism about when we give our word concerning things and our commitment to things. i go back to the man that i
probably respected more than anyone in the years i have been in the united states senate, one robert byrd. one thing i can promise you, if robert byrd had been sitting in the majority leader's chair today, you would not have seen the this is a sad day. i am angry, yes i will get over angry, but the sorrow that has -- over what has been done to this >> looked back at the senate filibuster debate in 2013. next week, chuck schumer brings a voting rights measure to the floor and plans to try to change senate filibuster rules to allow the voting package to move forward with a simple majority rather than the 60 votes needed now. he currently does not have the 51 votes needed to make a rule
change because joe manchin and kyrsten sinema are opposed. the senate gavels in tuesday and you can watch it live on c-span two come online at c-span.org or our video app. >> c-span's washington journal every day we take your calls live on the air from the news every day and discussed policy issues that impact you. coming up sunday morning, we look at u.s.-russia tensions over ukraine and the future of nato with professor david kramer and columbia university professor bennett. and michael smith talks about the mlk day of service and the importance of national service and volunteerism. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern sunday morning on c-span or on c-span now on your mobile app. going our discussion with your
phone calls, facebook comments, text messages, and tweet. >> 2022 is shaping up to be a big year for nasa with two major missions underway. the first will help the agency's mission to defend earth. the second, the successor to hubble will be used to study the arjun's of the universe. sunday night on q&a, we will discuss those missions with nancy from johns hopkins university's applied physics laboratory and meredith mcgregor from the university of colorado. >> earth has been hit by asteroids. there is no known threat to the earth right now but asteroids. we are tracking things. that said, we have not found all
of the asteroids yet so this is an important part of planetary defense. we need to assess the threat better and take the first steps. >> you can go and point to add objects and get new data. sometimes, you cannot predict what you're going to find. you can find completely new things. i think some of the most exciting science results are things that i am not even sure i can tell you right now. >> planetary scientists nancy chabot and dr. mcgregor sunday night on c-span's q&a. you can listen to q&a and all of our podcasts on our new c-span now app. >> next, republican glenn youngkin is sworn in as